A CATASTROPHIC KEY WEST HAPPENING

A catastrophic event has occurred. Smoking no longer permitted in Berlin’s.

New owners. The no smoking rule invoked. Surprising because one of the primary new owners a smoker himself.

Please, do not bury me in e-mails about the evils of smoking. Some remain who enjoy it. A personal choice. I do not criticize those who opt not to smoke.

If second hand smoke is a problem, do not attend a place that permits smoking. Only a few are left in Key West. Many non-smoking restaurants and bars available for the multitude.

Lets me share the Berlin story with you.

Berlin’s full name is Berlin’s Cigar and Cocktail Bar. It has been a place frequented by smokers since 1947 when it was first opened as Alonzo Cothron and Berlin Felton’s Fish House.

Eventually, the name was changed to Alonzo’s and Berlin’s Lobster House. The dining institution of the day. The place for a night out followed by a Cuban cigar. The affluent then hopping a plane for a quick flight to Havana for a night of gambling. Returning in time to bed down while still dark outside.

Those must have been the days!

At some point, the establishment was rebuilt. Always a perfect waterfront site. Class before and class after the rebuilding.

Berlin’s had a cool look to it. The feeling of Rick’s cafe. Some consider the swankiest spot in Key West.

Paul Tripp was owner at the time of rebuilding. He said, “I wanted it to be a men’s club, to have a masculine feel to it.”

It did.

An intimate room. Mahogany walls. Maroon leather bound stools and large comfortable easy chairs. Cigars stored in a humidor. The perfect place to sit back and enjoy a smoke.

The present day Berlin’s has the finest filtration system I have ever experienced. Even if the person next to you was smoking a cigar, you never smelled it. The filtration system sucked up the smoke  immediately. After leaving, your clothes did not smell of smoke.

Smokers generally ate in the intimacy of Berlin’s. A&B Lobster House, the restaurant portion is extremely large with a huge outdoor balcony to accommodate everyone else.

The food at the bar and restaurant the same. Always excellent. Pricey. Worth it, however. Especially when I could enjoy a couple of drinks and cigarettes before dinner and another after dinner while enjoying the last drink of the night.

The change makes no sense. It will not increase business. It might lessen it, if anything.

The Chart Room my only stop last night. John bartending. Ran into Diesel last year. Again, last night. We spoke at length. I enjoyed his company.

Diesel is from Ohio. Retired. He and his wife Lynise bought a home in Key West several years ago. Lynise was not with him. An early to bed person as I am most evenings.

They spend 6 months a year on the island. I told Diesel he was a snowbird. He did not like the title. Preferred to be known as a transient Conch. Don’t think it would fly with the Conchs.

Cori Convertino, how I envy you! Cori was on Ballast Key yesterday!

Cori is technically Dr. Cori Convertino. She is curator at the Custom House. Over the years, she became a close friend of David Wolkowsky. David you will recall died 2 month ago.

David enjoyed 3 homes in the Key West area. One was on Ballast Key. A small island 16 miles west of Key West. A magnificent edifice planned and built by David.

Not sure why Cori was there yesterday. Wish she had invited me. I assume she was there for some reason having to do with the furnishings. David was a huge benefactor to the Custom House.

I met Fritz Adare 12 years ago at a party at Larry and Christine Smith’s home. Nice guy. He was introduced as a personal trainer. Looked it. A magnificent body. Skin like a baby’s back end. A body that sparkled.

It was obvious Fritz was a good health addict.

I rarely saw him. We would run into each other one or two times a year. Always a cordial hello and a few words.

Yesterday’s Facebook listed the day as Fritz’s birthday. I sent him a Happy Birthday!

Last night, Larry and Christine telephoned me. I knew there had to be trouble if both were on the phone together. Fritz had died several months ago. I did not know.

Strange. I never saw his obituary. Looked for it this morning. Not in the Key West Citizen. Found it in a South Bend, Indiana newspaper. Fritz died on May 29. He was residing in an assisted living facility at the time. Age, 71.

May he rest in peace.

When older people who I know pass on, I get a bit nervous. I am 83. Fritz was 71. He unquestionably was a health nut. Always working out. Took all kinds of vitamins and supplement pills. Nutrition was a big thing with him.

I do not dwell on death. Mark Twain said, “Age is not an issue of mind. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.

What will be, will be.

An important thing in life. After saturday’s victory, Syracuse is now ranked 14th in the nation. A 7-2 record so far. Go ‘Cuse!

Enjoy your day!

 

GORDON A HURRICANE AT LANDFALL

Gordon grew in intensity over the Gulf. Made landfall west of the Mississippi/Alabama border. Now a category 1 hurricane.

One death. A child in a mobile home. A tree fell on the mobile home.

Keep in mind. All type storms and weather changes have been occurring in recent years. For me, it is global warming. As to hurricanes, the numbers have increased. The hurricane season runs to November 30. I hold my breath.

I wrote last friday that the Key West Citizen had been sold. The formal announcement would be tuesday. It was. Announced yesterday that the Adams Publishing Group had purchased all assets of Cooke Communications LLC. One of Cooke’s assets the Key West Citizen.

Sarabeth is a popular dining place at 530 Simonton Street. The building housing Sarabeth’s not always a commercial facility. The structure was built in 1889 to be a synagogue. The B’nai Zion Synagogue.

Pause the next time you pass by. Look closely and you can identify parts of the building as having been a synagogue.

Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. Kavanaugh an extremely conservative judge. His thinking very far to the right. Too far. He is pro-gun, anti-abortion, believes in a powerful President, believes neither impeachment nor indictment till a President is out of office. A President too busy with important matters to deal with such situations.

Kavanaugh must be confirmed by the Senate. The first step a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The first hearing yesterday.

Chaos. Crazy. Fireworks.

Kavanaugh presents the worst nomination to the Supreme Court in modern history. His legal thinking will mandate his striking down hard fought legal victories of the past 70 years. Not because he is a bad guy. It is the way he thinks.

He will be confirmed. He will sit as a Justice of the Supreme Court. The sadness…..For the next 30-40 years.

Love investigative reporters! Two outstanding ones Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. The two who discovered Nixon’s wrongdoing resulting in Nixon’s resignation.

Both still active. Report and write books.

Bob Woodward’s most recent FEAR: Trump in the White House. Publication a few days off. The Washington Post got an early copy.

Wow! is the best way to describe the book. I can’t wait to read it.

A few items revealed and made available via the media.

Trump’s first lawyer John Dowd put Trump through some mock interviews preparatory to Mueller doing the same officially. Trump lied, lied, lied. He was incapable of telling the truth.

Dowd told him, “Don’t testify. It’s either that or an orange jumpsuit.”

Woodward reports contrary to what Trump repeatedly has said, he told Dowd the practice sessions: “I don’t want to testify.”

Dowd resigned the next day.

General Mattis is reported to have said, Trump has the mentality of a “sixth grader.” Chief of Staff John Kelly, Trump is “unhinged,” an “idiot,” “we’re in Crazytown, ” “the worse job I have ever had.”

Author Bob Woodward himself describes the Trump White House as “Crazytown.”

Carl Bernstein commenting on the book said, “The Trump presidency is a national emergency.”

Our President!!!!!

A possible oil crisis by year’s end. Actually, probable. Cause involves sanctions, tariff wars, increasing demand, and inflation. $4 a gallon predicted by year’s end. As high as $5 a gallon next year.

China needs crude oil. The U.S. needs crude oil. In 2017, China surpassed the U.S. in the importation of crude oil. China imported 8.4 million barrels a day. The U.S., 7.9 million.

Iran comes into the picture. U.S. sanctions preventing crude oil export. Two months from now, Iran will be exporting next to nothing because of new sanctions already on the books.

Inflation comes into play. Only 2.4 percent today. Rising, however still low.

Learned something I did not know. The government plays with the inflation figures. That is, how the rate is determined. If calculated by 1990 standards, today’s 2.4 percent would be 6 percent. If calculated by 1980 standards, 10 percent.

Trump pushes us closer and closer to a recession. Though not immediately apparent, such is inevitable when sanctions, tariff wars and increased oil prices combine.

I have been predicting a recession at year’s end or early into 2019 for some time. The handwriting is on the wall.

I love Russian novels. Something dramatic about them.

On this day in 1958, Boris Pasternak’s Dr. Zhivago was published in the U.S. The novel had to be secreted out of Russia a few pages at a time. Russian authorities claimed the novel romanticized the pre-Revolution upper class and degraded the peasants.

Pasternak was awarded to Nobel Prize for Literature in 1958 also. Khrushchev would not permit him to accept the prize.

Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace was published in 1869 after previously having been serialized.

Dr. Zhivago and War and Peace two of my favorite Russian novels.

I had some fun last night ranting and raving on my podcast show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. So much to chat about!

Join me for the show next week.

Enjoy your day!

 

SONGWRITERS FESTIVAL

Key West is in the middle of this year’s Songwriters Festival. The event began May 9 and ends May 13. Five days and nights of live music. The faces, voices and stories behind the songs.

Two hundred plus performers and fifty plus shows. To be seen and heard on parts of Duval and its side streets and in many bars and restaurants along the way.

Key West will be over run with music lovers from all over the world.

A post Irma report has just come out re tourism revenue. In the eight months since Irma, tourist revenue is down 11-24 percent depending on the month.

The ad agency representing Key West has recommended that more money be spent in advertising to attract the number of tourists lost.

I disagree. Key West is over touristed. The island is sinking beneath the added weight of too many visitors. Traffic is heavy, bicyclists a danger, pedestrians crossing streets without looking, etc.

Greed is killing the goose that lays the golden egg. Key West cannot continue to receive more and more visitors each year. There is a breaking point. We are reaching it.

Some things cannot be questioned. One, man needs water to survive.

As far back as Aristotle, water was a concern. Being the genius he was, Aristotle shared his thoughts and solutions for his time: “Salt water, when it turns into vapour, becomes sweet and the vapour does not form salt water again when it condenses.”

Aristotle also noticed that a fine wax vessel would hold potable water after being submerged long enough in seawater, having acted as a membrane to filter the salt.

Ocean going ships over the centuries had a desperate need for fresh water. Ways to desalinate were improved for vessels.

Thomas Jefferson came up with a better method to desalinate on ships. Decals with his instructions were prepared and placed on the back of all shipping permits.

Desalinization improved following World War II. So good that optimization became the goal.

Which brings me to the why I have spent this time on desalinization.

The Florida Keys need water. Especially, Key West. We pipe our water in from the mainland 150 miles away. Scarcity periodically a problem.

On this day in 1967, a $3.3 million desalting plant was constructed to assist Key West and its immediate surroundings. The new plant capable of producing 2.62 million gallons of fresh water a day.

The plant ended a critical water shortage at the time.

Trump and his staff show little respect for John McCain. McCain has brain cancer and is reaching the end of his days.

McCain qualifies as a torture expert.

One day after he announced opposition to Trump’s CIA nominee Gina Haspel, a White House staff meeting was being held. Trump was not present.

It is claimed that during the meeting, Special Assistant Kelly Sadler while discussing the torture issue and McCain’s position said, “It doesn’t matter, he’s dying anyway.”

Her comment has been perceived as mocking McCain’s brain cancer diagnosis. Sadler says she meant it as a joke. However it was not received as such. It has been reported there was a dead silence in the room following the statement having been made.

Sadler apologized to one of McCain’s daughters following the incident.

A Pandora’s box has been opened. The $4.4 million Michael Cohen received following Trump’s election. The question arises: Where did the money go after leaving Cohen’s hands? Any of it to the President?

I mentioned yesterday how the new US ambassador to Germany on tuesday advised the Germans they should stop doing business with Iran. The Germans laughed at him.

Other European nations are reacting. France’s Finance Minster said yesterday that Europe is not a US vassal, not the world’s economic policeman.

I have followed Venezuela more than 5 years. Ever since Nicolas Maduro became President. Maduro is doing a lousy job. I cannot understand why the people have not revolted.

Starvation exists. Everyday. Little relief. The pets were eaten three years ago. Babies fed every other day with some sort of powder concoction. On it goes.

Several months ago, Maduro said something nasty about Trump. I do not recall what. The next day Trump said the US was considering invading Venezuela to relieve the poverty that had befallen its people.

On monday, it was announced that the Trump administration imposed sanctions on Venezuela. On 3 Venezuelans personally and 20 Venezuelan companies. The justification claimed was narcotics trading tied to Maduro.

Almost simultaneously, Pence appeared before the Organization of American States and told the audience that there was a need to take greater steps to isolate Maduro. The drug issue the justification again.

Something wrong here. How do you sanction a nation whose people are already starving? Who ate family pets? Whose babies get fed every second day?

The narcotics claim is disturbing. Venezuela is the other end of the Earth from the US. The real drug problem affecting the US is Afghanistan. Afghanistan produces 95 percent of the world’s heroin. Most of it ends up on our streets. Our people dying big time daily from its effects.

The US has been fighting a war in Afghanistan for 17 years. In that time, the poppy fields have grown, heroin exports increased dramatically. Little done by the US to stop it.

Something stinks and has stunk in Afghanistan re drugs since the US became involved with the country.

Enjoy your day!

FLORIDA PUBLIC BEACHES NO MORE

Strange laws are made. For strange purposes. By strange men.

Most Florida beaches have been public like forever. Now a law has been passed. One whereby beachfront property owners can kick people of the beaches.

The new law recognizes beachfront property owners to have claim to “the land above the mean high-water tide level.” Means private property beach owners can kick the public off beaches that heretofore were public.

The power behind the new law the rich. Wealthy beachfront homeowners and hotel owners.

Governor Scott owns a home on the beach in Naples. He was not concerned . He indicated people should not worry….rich people were unlikely to abuse their new powers.

As good as an assurance that it will never snow again in the Arctic.

Every now and then a person makes a special connection with Key West. Ernest Hemingway and Jimmy Buffett for example. Most recently, Diana Nyad.

Diana is a long distance swimmer. In 2013, she swam from Cuba to Key West. No easy task. Ever since, there has been a marriage between Diana and Key West.

She did not establish a residence. However does visit frequently. Key West honored her accomplishment with a memorial at the beach.

Irma knocked the hell out of certain parts of the lower keys. Many still recovering. Easy to understand when one realizes that 4,000 plus residential dwellings were destroyed in the keys as a whole.

Diana is in Key West for a month. Together with a group of friends. All runners, not swimmers. They are presently working every day along side Habit for Humanity repairing Irma damaged homes. Presently in the Big Pine area.

Key West showed its love to Diana. She is returning it ten fold.

Stability is lacking in our government. Tariff wars and sanctions lead to fighting wars.

Japan a perfect example. President Roosevelt was squeezing Japan in the time before Pearl Harbor. Japan had invaded China. Roosevelt wanted Japan out of China.

Japan a big importer of oil. Could not survive without oil. Roosevelt put the squeeze on Japan by placing an embargo on oil that normally would go to Japan from various parts of Asia. Plus, other sanctions.

Japan said…..Up yours! Pearl Harbor resulted.

Roosevelt was successfully choking Japan economically. Japan could have capitulated and agreed with Roosevelt’s terms which included Japan’s total withdrawal from China. Or, Japan could have taken the position you cannot do this to us and gone to war.

The answer we all know.

World War II resulted in a marriage of three nations. Germany, Italy and Japan. All fascist nations.

The Democracies plus Russia won World War II. Russia an immediate problem. However the Democracies kept Russia in tow.

In April 1945, Hitler committed suicide in a Berlin Bunker. Mussolini’s corpse was hung upside down at a gas station in Milan 2 days earlier. Following the War, Tojo was executed by hanging for war crimes.

Fascism for all intents and purposes was dead. Till recent years. It has returned. Big time. Trump the Pied Piper.

Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright wrote an interesting Op-Ed in the New York Times 4/6/18 re the issue of fascism titled: Will We Stop Trump Before It’s Too Late.

Some countries were authoritarian leaning before Trump. Some since. Trump most definitely authoritarian. Another way of describing a fascist.

Other world leaders say if Trump can be a dictator of sorts, why can’t I? Leaders in Hungary, the Philippines, Poland and Turkey. Moves toward fascist states in Egypt, Syria and Venezuela. Russia under Putin already there.

Albright wrote that fascism on “the world stage is enhanced by the volatile Presidency of Donald Trump.”

I started this part of the blog discussing sanctions and tariffs being economic wars leading to fighting wars. China today is the U.S.’ primary adversary in an economic war. China a tough adversary. Would never even think of capitulating. Face too important.

So China will do everything to win the economic war Trump has guided us into with China.

Gao Feng, spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, said recently, “We will not start a war, we will definitely fight back…..No options will be ruled out.”

Feng was speaking of tariffs. However, the tariff war of today can easily turn into a fighting war tomorrow.

And who would we have to thank? Donald Trump!

A message to T-Shirt Jordan. Please send me your full name and address.

Forget not my Irma and Me book signing tuesday noon to 3 at Andrews Inn, Zero Whalton Lane, Key West.

Enjoy your day!

 

BLAMES THE JEWS

Anti-Semitism is on the rise. Has been for roughly a decade. Slowly creeping up each year. Evident in the United States and Europe, especially.

The NRA has finally met its match. In the children. The NRA aware their rising cry will be difficult to stifle. From the mouths of babes come truth. So another troublemaker must be identified. One that can be blamed for destroying American freedoms. As perceived by the NRA.

The Jews! Who else? The all time international scapegoat.

It is claimed gun rights are being destroyed by Jewish elite. The mega rich. Further, social engineering in general  by Jews will destroy other American freedoms.

The anti-Semitic trend part of La Pierre’s raving speech at CPAC this week.

Beware! Don’t buy it!

Staying with guns for a moment, there are 265 million privately owned firearms in the United States. One hundred thirty three million are owned by 3 percent of Americans. The 3 percent are referred to as super owners.

Bottom line, 3 percent of Americans own more than half the country’s guns. Averages out to 17 guns per super owner.

Another pleasant evening last night. Spent with Donna and Terri. Bear too for a part of the evening.

We were going out to dinner. Cocktails first at Donna and Terri’s.

I bought Bear another small toy to chew and chase. A soft lamb chop. He loved it!

I have not seen Bear in a week. He has grown. Appears to have doubled in size. Could it be? Only 11 weeks old.

Dinner was at La Trattoria. Bear left home alone. First time alone. Don’t know yet how he handled it.

Food and companionship outstanding. Always a good time with my lesbian wives.

I continue to observe the tourist crowd. Many, though less than previous years. I expect it will continue till season is over.

Bicyclists a never ending problem. So many on the streets. Even in the dark of night. Most without lights, of course. I cannot understand the infrequency of accidents. Don’t tell me because bicycle operators are safe drivers. Come drive our streets and find out how wrong you would be.

Trump continues to tell us things are good economically. Actually, great! I disagree. No question better. However not all Americans experiencing the benefits of a terrific economy.

Employees of American Eagle an example.

American Eagle is a subsidiary of American Airlines. American Airlines last year had a profit of $1.9 billion. Eagle and its parent American have been negotiating a new contract for almost two years to no avail.

Following are trials and tribulations some American Eagle employees claim they are suffering: Need for food stamps, other public assistance to make ends meet, purchase out of date food, borrow from retirement accounts, sell blood. Some being paid $9.48 per hour.

The white man was as bad as the Indians. Perhaps worse.

Lets begin with scalping. I am not sure who started it. However as far back as 1621, things were not as kumbaya as one might believe. Even the first Thanksgiving had the Pilgrims and Indians looking over the table at each other with animosity.

Days before, Miles Standish led a band of Pilgrims on a special quest. They wanted the head of a local Indian chief. They could not find him. However they did locate an Indian by the name of Wituwamat. They beheaded him and placed his head on a wooden spike at their encampment. Wituwamat’s head so remained for many years.

On Thanksgiving Day 1626, the colonists were after Indian Chief Metacomet. They captured him, decapitated him, quartered his body and left it to the wolves. His head was placed on a pole in Plymouth.

A few years later, 700 Pequot Indians were killed, burned alive, and beheaded. Some of the colonists used the heads as bowling balls. They bowled down the various streets of a nearby town.

Moving ahead to 1725, whites scalping Indians became a big thing. Indian scalps were worth money.

In February, a posse of New Hampshire volunteers attacked an Indian encampment. They took 10 scalps. The first significant appropriation of Indian scalps by European colonists.

The posse sold the scalps to Boston authorities who paid them 100 pounds per scalp.

Scalping and decapitation by the white man in early pre-United States days. Would you believe?

I had computer problems while writing today’s blog. My key board froze. Took a couple of hours to find the problem and fix it. In the meantime, some of you were able to receive a shortened entry together with grammatical errors and misspellings. Sorry. Hope you returned to this final version.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

My Yesterday…..Research, Berlin’s, and Bria Ansara

 

Enjoyed my yesterday.

Researched all day. Love digging for information.

Berlin’s last night for dinner. A full house. Got the last seat at the bar. The meal excellent as was Bria Ansara. Her singing touching everyone.

A big night ahead.

Syracuse/Duke at 6:15 on ESPN. Duke ranked #5 nationally. Going to be a tough game. Syracuse needs the win. We shall see.

Dinner with Donna and Terri tonight at La Trattoria. Cocktails first at their home. I have to see Bear. It has been a week.

Key West the home of writers. One, Tennessee Williams. Lived here more than 40 years. Williams died this day in 1983.

Williams’ The Glass Menagerie played yesterday afternoon on Turner Classics. I captured a small portion of its end. I have seen The Glass Menagerie at least twenty times. Amazed each time by the power of Williams’ words.

Spent a bit of time watching CPAC. Second day in a row. The first day, wild screaming Wayne La Pierre. Barbarians at the gate.

Yesterday, the master of exuberance Donald Trump. He was before his people. That 37 percent.

CPAC an ultra conservative group. Not the conservatives of yesteryear, however. Neither Barry Goldwaters nor Ronald Reagans.

What I saw were extremists. Too many Lock Her Up chants. Encouraged of course by Trump. He beat Hillary. I do not understand why he cannot let the dead rest.

The audience reminded me of street thugs. A tough appearing and tough acting crowd. The absolute fringe of the Republican Party.

Their apparent rowdiness meshed well with the Trump we have come to know.

CPAC had difficulty attracting speakers. Prominent politicians avoided the show. Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, for example. The only Senator was Texas’ Cruz.

I cannot understand Cruz. During the primary, Trump accused Cruz’s father of being involved somehow in the Kennedy assassination. Cruz now sucking up to the man.

Prominent non office holders also absent. None!

The speakers consisted of Trump and members of his White House staff. Plus FOX News.

Even the mighty fall. Inner corrosion eats away.

The Douglas High School shooting the beginning of the end of the NRA as a power in American politics. The wrong group attacked. High school children. They have no fear. They are like a snowball that starts rolling down a hill. Small at the beginning. Gets larger with every turn. The students with every day.

Corporate America is turning its back on the NRA. Several have severed ties with the NRA. Ties involving co-branding partnerships, discounts to NRA members credit cards, etc. An economic blow to the NRA. Swiftly like a saber decapitating a person.

Corporations involved include Hertz, Avis, Enterprise Holdings, First National Bank of Omaha, Symantec, Enterprise, Chubb Limited, MetLife, Delta, and American Airlines.

Justice comes in many forms. One the soon to be filed bankruptcy application by Remington. In trouble financially. The filing will be for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company may survive. Whether it will be the giant it has been for two centuries remains to be seen.

Remington began in 1816 in Ilion, NY. Fifteen miles from my hometown of Utica. Remington remains the major employer to this day in Ilion. It also has other plants throughout the United States.

Remington is America’s oldest gun maker. A definite part of  American gun culture. The name Remington appears on frontier flintlocks as well as US Army .45’s.

I learned something in the last 24 hours while researching this topic.

Guns sales rose dramatically in the 10 years prior to Trump’s election. Since his election, sales have fallen dramatically. The reason is gun sales rise when politicos are elected who want to pursue more stringent gun control laws. People run to stack up on guns.

Trump supports the NRA, its members, etc. Gun laws supposedly not going anywhere under him. So gun lovers fear not and buy fewer guns.

Such has been Trump’s first year. Till now. I am assuming gun sales have shot upward based on post Douglas talk.

The down trend in gun sales is one reason Remington got into financial trouble. The other is that it was a Remington manufactured AR-15 that killed the first and second graders at Sandy Hook. Remington has borne the burden of defending against lawsuits arising out of the Sandy Hook incidence, though Remington itself was not found liable. Lawyers cost money. Especially in big money cases.

A side note of interest. Remington built a new plant in Huntsville, Alabama in 2014 to manufacture AR-15s. Prior to 2014, they were manufactured at the Ilion plant.

A soap box morning. Required sometimes. Things have to be said. People made aware.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

TWO GREAT COUPLES

Last night unusual. Spent time with two great couples. One I had met last year. The other, new.

I was at Aqua for Dueling Bartenders. Crowded. I was sitting alone at a small table. All of a sudden Tom and Clare Keller appeared. Took me a few seconds. We had met last year.

They joined me.

Tom and Clare new residents to Key West. Closed on a condominium in January. All excited. Properly so.

Both retired. Time to enjoy and play. Life without concern. They are ready.

Tom is a former Washington DC attorney. We have a mutual friend. He knows her much better than I. Former Ambassador Amy Bondourant. An Ambassador under Clinton and Bush 2. Amy and her husband relocated from Paris to Key West last year.

Tom and Amy were law partners in Washington.

Tom and Clare two new friends.

The other couple Kristina and John. I stopped at Tavern ‘n Town on the way home. I had not intended. However, my stomach was growling. Enjoyed my diet prime rib.

Sitting at the bar next to me were Kristina and John. A vacationing couple from Mays Landing, New Jersey. Near Atlantic City. A very enjoyable couple. We talked of many things. From the beauty of Jersey beaches and their bikini clad women to whatever.

Both at with the FAA. Kristina a research manager with drones. Sounded interesting. John not at liberty to tell me what he did.

Married. Two children.

They return home this morning. I can’t wait to meet up with them again next year.

Now back to Aqua and Dueling bartenders.

Terri the guest artist.

Two weeks ago, Terri received favorable news from her cancer hospital in Tampa. She is in remission. Her singing last night exhibited a gusto I attribute to the news. She also danced and pranced about. Terri was a Broadway hoofer as well as singer.

She was singing a love song. Came over and threw her arm around me in what was intended as a hug. It was not. My face became imbedded in her left breast. I could not breathe. She did not know.

Bear at Aqua also. His first time. Only 10 weeks old. What a good boy! Sat under a chair and ignored everyone. Probably scared seeing all the people. A never before event for him.

Donna came in later. She has been dieting. Looked good. Tall and thin.

I met at the Aqua bar last year a man from Utica. Not Utica, NY. Utica, Michigan. He was back last night. This time with an oxygen tube in his nostrils. Made no difference, he was whooping it up at the bar having a good time.

While at the bar at Tavern ‘n Town, Fred Tillman stopped by to say hello. Tillman a Key Wester for years. Owned Kelly’s and two other restaurants for years. He catered Lisa’s wedding.

His outstanding achievement from my perspective were the years he was married to Hollywood actress Kelly McGillis. The Kelly McGillis of Top Gun/Tom Cruise fame. Kelly lived in Key West with Fred and they operated the three restaurants together.

Now, long divorced.

I last saw Fred in December at David Wolkowsky’s 98th birthday party. Go David!

I have spoken of David many times. He is the father of modern Key West. Key West would not have developed as it has were it not for David.

An example is the Pier House. David built the Pier House. A section at a time. On the gulf end of Key West that was nothing but a mud puddle. On this day in 1967, David began construction of the Pier House Motel. A few rooms to become a gigantic resort. Big trees from little acorns grew.

Tonight, Lynda Frechette’s Aqua Idol. Five thirty at Aqua. Singing galore. A fundraiser for Lynda’s beloved Waterfront Playhouse.

Mary Lou Hoover busier than normal. She is running for Key West Commissioner. She will be the best Commissioner ever! Her campaign kick-off is February 26 at Salute’s.

Tonight, my podcast. What I describe as an internet radio show. You can see my picture and hear my voice. Nothing moves. Somewhat similar to radio.

I am into my third year. Impressed. I have advertisers. Not solicited by me. They come because of the size of my listening audience. Two of my favorites are GEICO, Ins. and Old Navy.

Showtime tonight is 9. The show a quick moving half hour. I talk about everything. A lot of politics. I am a political junkie.

My opinion generally shared. Love being able to share my thoughts on an issue without concern or permission.

Join me. Guaranteed you will enjoy. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!

A PARTY!

A delightful birthday party last night! David Wolkowsky’s 98th. A small intimate gathering of 20. One hour. Dom Perignon served.

Mr. Key West looked terrific! Smiling. Greeting everyone warmly.

A man for the ages. His mark left here and in Philadelphia.

Afterwards, the Chart Room.

Business strange. The placed packed and then deserted. Not a soul, except for John and me.

David came in. Love David. I was ready to leave when he arrived. I overstayed my time by two drinks.

Harvey. What a wallop! A 4! Terrible! Going to hang around a few days. Even worse.

Due to Harvey’s intensity, still do not know damage or deaths. Damage for certain. I hope none or few deaths.

Trump and Venezuela. I have followed Venezuela since Maduro became President more than 4 years ago. I got turned on to Venezuela when the country ran out of toilet paper 4 years ago. Toilet paper still limited in supply.

Trump has imposed certain sanctions on Venezuela. Trump says he does not like the way the people are being treated nor the government’s corruption.

Venezuela is none of our business! Two reasons.

First, Venezuela does not represent a threat to the United States. In no fashion!

Second, it is a civil problem that eventually will result in a civil war. Again, none of our business.

Trump could be laying the basis for U.S. intervention in the country. I say, not one American life should be sacrificed for a conflict that has nothing to do with us.

The real reason Trump is interested in Venezuela is its oil supply. Venezuela has the largest petroleum reserve in the world.

He wants to gain control of the oil.

Recall, Trump has recently suggested the U.S. should have stayed in Iraq and taken control of Iraq’s oil. He has also recently mentioned North Korea’s large mineral deposits, suggesting they would be beneficial to the U.S.

We are not that type people. The U.S. does not wage war to gain valuable natural deposits.

This Christopher Columbus thing is boiling over. I was one day ahead of the deluge.

New York City Mayor William de Blasio is reviewing “symbols of hate” in New York City. For removal, of course. It is said one of the statues under consideration is Columbus’ statue on Columbus Square. The one that stands more than 70 feet high.

I have come full round on the issue. Back to my original position. Leave the statues alone! They are part of our history. Good, bad or indifferent.

The nation is being rabble roused by a small group. A minority. We gave in to their demands re Confederate statues/monuments. Now, the demand goes further. Hundred of years earlier. Wrong! It is the squeaky wheel being greased. Politicians the first to hear and abide by the demands.

Lets step back, take a deep breath, and think the issue with all its ramifications.

Further, let no one say I am a racist.

Enjoy your day!

MURDERERS, ASSASSINS, INFILTRATORS…..JAPAN OVERREACTS

Fire ants are part of our Key West existence. You cannot be here any length of time without being bitten.

For Japan, it is a new experience. Nary a fire ant till May 20 of this year. They came in on a cargo ship hidden away in cargo boxes. Shortly thereafter, more arrived in a different vessel. Now fire ants immigrate to Japan with frequency and reproduce once there.

The Japanese are not handling the fire ant invasion well.

A Japanese newspaper reported early on that a fire ant epidemic in the United States killed 100. Obviously erroneous. Corrected, but the damage had been done. The Japanese people are convinced fire ants are murderers, assassins, and infiltrators.

An over reaction big time.

Additional sanctions have been levied by the U.S. against 13 high ranking Venezuelans.

Stupid!

Maduro and his government may be bad people. However, it is for the Venezuelan people to change the government. Not the U.S.

Thousands protest. The streets are jammed. In the hundreds of thousands. However, the people stop there. They do not go to the next step and take up arms to depose Maduro.

It is their problem, not ours. Especially when the Venezuelan people are not willing to fight for themselves.

When will we learn to keep our noses out of another country’s business?

McCain showed his independence and courage last night with his no vote. I take back any negative statements I made a few days ago re his failure to stand up when the first vote was taken.

Where did this Anthony Scaramucci come from? He is an embarrassment to our government and to the people of the United States.

I am personally embarrassed. The man is Italian-American as I am. He is a throwback to the 1920-1930’s.

Now for my yesterday.

Dropped the car off to be detailed. Needed a thorough cleaning.

Walked over to Lori’s at the other end of the block for a haircut.

Needed to kill an hour after the haircut while the car was being finished. Stopped into the Sunshine Grill for lunch. Where Mattheson’s was formerly located. On White Street, across from Fausto’s.

Great food! Go!

Diner type food. Wholesome.

I enjoyed a Reuben. One of the best I have ever eaten.

Checked the menu out. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Very reasonably priced. My next visit will be for dinner some evening soon.

Met Karen. The front house manager. Charming and lovely.

The bill carried a comment on the bottom: Eat here or we both go hungry.

Made sense.

Picked up the car. Seven years old. Looked new inside and out.

Dinner was with Donna and Terri last night. Terri had to work late. I stopped at their home and enjoyed a drink and political chatter with Terri. Yesterday was definitely a Trump day!

Terri is more than a vocalist. She understands. Everything. Our conversation ran deep.

Donna finally arrived. Her ass dragging. It had been a 12 hour day.

We had dinner at the New York Pasta Garden. Donna and Teri enjoy the place. Last time I was there was 20 years ago with three of my grandchildren. I thought the food was terrible. Never returned! Last night’s meal was excellent.

I had egg plant parmigiana and pasta. The parmigiana with my Mother in mind. She used to make it frequently.

John owns the Pasta Garden. He also owns the Ocean Grill across the way. Word on the street is he is in the process of buying Camille’s.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

 

SANCTIONS BOTH AVOID AND LEAD TO WAR

Sanctions are constantly in the news. One country does something another country disagrees with and sanctions come into play. Bank accounts seized, shipping prohibited, etc. Cause the offending country to suffer for its wrongdoing.

Sanctions are so prevalent these days that many have come to believe it is a way to avoid war.

I believe such is the case only because a war has not yet occurred.

History repeats itself. We tend to forget.

On this day in 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt seized all Japanese assets in the United States in retaliation for Japan’s occupation of French-Indo China. As was intended, the result hurt Japan deeply. Japan lost three quarters of its overseas trade and 88 percent of its imported oil.

War was inevitable. Japan could not tolerate the sanctions. Especially the loss of 88 percent of its imported oil. Japan had no oil except that which it imported. Japan’s industrial death was imminent.

Japan in effect said screw you to the U.S. The result Pearl Harbor a little more than four months later.

Two strange occurrences yesterday.

Three weeks ago, I filed a change of address with the Post Office. I am getting mail at my new address. Also, at my old address.

Went to the downtown Post Office to straighten the mater out. I was told by the clerk it could not be happening. I calmly explained again it was. No way, I was told.

It became a problem for the supervisor to deal with. No supervisor. He was somewhere else.

I have to return today.

Next stop was Walgreens. Bought a large container of Bayer Aspirin. Take a whole pill a day for my heart.

When I got home and opened the bottle, the foil seal was broken and completely open. When I return to Walgreens today for an exchange, will I be told it could not happen?

A change of pace podcast last night. Trump has been overwhelming my show as it has the media. There are other stories to be told. Decided to do a limited Trump comment and the rest of the show human events of the past few days world wide.

Because of yesterday happenings, I ended up with three Trump/political observations. However, I did finish with 8 non Trump stories.

I hope that those of you who listened to Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou enjoyed the change of pace.

Being the political animal I am, I want to briefly share with you the three political observations.

Jared Kushner’s testimony has been described by some in the examining rooms as truthful and forthcoming. I would not believe Kushner and his Trump in laws on a stack of Bibles. Liars one and all. It is the nature of the beast. The conclusion of the various investigations will substantiate they speak with forked tongues.

The Democrats came out with a Better Deal slogan yesterday. Sucks! My recommendation is that they hire a professional PR firm to provide a today slogan. Also, it is time for Pelosi and Schumer to go. It is a new day. Their time has passed. Voters world wide have shown in recent elections the desire for new and more youthful faces.

Finally, John McCain. A man I respect and admire. But yesterday he did not go far enough in his comments to the Senate.

McCain has cancer of the brain. Operations, doctors, medicines, etc. His medical bills will be high. Overwhelming if no insurance. He has insurance, however. Ergo, he has a chance to be cured, to survive.

What of the 32 million who will have no insurance if Obamacare is dumped? They will not have the chance to maybe have their lives saved.

It was McCain’s moment. He should have said, I have changed my mind. I stand with those who do not want to repeal, or repeal and replace. Lets fix Obamacare and move on.

He did not.

Historical paths cross.

William Faulkner lived a period of his life in Key West. As did Ernest Hemingway.

Hemingway wrote To Have and To Hold. Faulkner went to Hollywood and wrote the screen script for To Have and To Hold. Both the novel and the movie were gigantic successes. Humphrey Bogart starred in the movie.

In the early 1860’s, a U.S. Navy vessel captured a slave ship. It delivered the 1,432 Africans aboard to Key West. Two hundred ninety-four died while here. The remaining Africans were sent to Libya.

The 294 who died were buried somewhere in Key West. No one certain as to the exact spot till several years ago.

The bodies were discovered buried on portions of Higgs Beach and nearby. A plaque has been placed on the beach noting their burial place. Each year, a service is held at the site in their honor.

Have to hustle. A heart test scheduled for 1.

Enjoy your day!