MILE HIGH CLUB DANGEROUS

Sex in the sky! On an airplane, of course. Referred to as the Mile High Club.

I always wanted to try it. In my working days, I generally flew first or business class. Many overnight flights. Would have been easy to accomplish. My wife disagreed. Thought I was crazy.

At 82, I can look back and say there is not much I have missed. Reluctantly, the Mile High Club is one.

Apparently, the deed on a commercial flight is now considered criminal. A 48 year old woman and 28 year old man met on a Delta flight recently. She orally copulated him. They were arrested on landing.

Today being a holiday, I filled some prescriptions yesterday. Walgreens first. Then to Sandy’s Cafe for lunch. The usual. Cuban cheese toast with tomato. Dripping in butter. To die for!

My cell phone was not working. Stopped at Verizon in the Winn-Dixie Shopping Center. Sim card dirty. The young lady knew immediately. Took it out and cleaned it with an eraser on the end of a pencil. Amazing!

Watched Cavaliers/Celtics game 7. For the right to go to the NBA Finals. Celtics favored. Cavaliers won 87-79.

LeBron James responsible. He carried his team all the way! Scored 35 points. Many assists. A couple of blocked shots. He did it all!

The Cavaliers won because they were experienced. Had been there before. Did not falter when down 12 points in the first quarter.

The Celtics an excellent team. Need seasoning, however. As the game went on, their youth was evident. Too many mistakes that only time teaches a player not to make.

The Celtics’ Jayson Tatum only 20 years old. A star already! What a future he has ahead of him.

This will be the 8th consecutive NBA Final that LeBron James will be playing in.

SH*T SHOW. A new book by Pulitzer Prize winner Charlie LeDuff. He was on Morning Joe today.

LeDuff views America in crisis. He shares places and happenings reflecting the same. From Ferguson to Flint to Trump’s unstoppable campaign for President.

He talked how Trump during the campaign was suggesting a return to 1950’s type living. Actually, LeDuff said it would have been the 1990’s. Not enough people around who remember the 1950’s.

I do. My college and law school years. The time I married. My son born. Bought my first car. People employed. Etc. Good years. I have always recalled them fondly. Everything kumbaya. I have mentioned the 1950’s in the past as a good time to have lived in the U.S. The Eisenhower years.

Today, Memorial Day.

No Key West parade. I checked throughout the Keys. No parades anywhere. Many commemorative events, however.

A day when the graves of those who died for their country are decorated with flowers.

The custom interestingly began back in the Civil War. Both sides did it. The decorating and remembrance that went with it continued and grew to what it is today. Whether the 1860’s or today, emotions the same.

Tonight, Aqua for Dueling Bartenders.

Obama spoke wednesday in Las Vegas at a technology conference hosted by Okata, the identity security company. He said, “America may not survive.”

He added, “I think the big challenge today is how we maintain a sense of common purpose rather than splinter or divide. We are seeing this debated on social media every day, but if we don’t figure it out then our society and democracy may not survive…..part of our polarization is that if you watch Fox News all day, or read the New York Times, you are occupying two different realities.”

Alberto still on the move. Has not made landfall yet. Continues to aim for the Panhandle. Other parts of Florida and other States subject to heavy rains and flash flooding.

It has already rained heavy 2 times this morning in Key West.

Ellicott City, Maryland experienced disaster yesterday. Unexpected. Six inches of rain in two hours. Rivers overflowing, rampaging. Cars swept away. Rising water reaching the third floor of some homes.

Google News is running a video. Find it and see first hand. I could not believe what my eyes beheld. Water running down streets 1 or 2 stories high. Cars being lifted and swept away.

I am beginning to think someone upstairs is trying to tell us something.

Key West gas prices the past 3 hours from $3.10 to $3.15 a gallon. Predicted to go higher over the summer. Experts say the blame falls on Saudi Arabia who decided to curb production in 2016 so prices would rise.

I recall the Saudis as “our friends” who gave us $4 a gallon gasoline.

Trump/Iran not significant in the price increase. Only 3-5 cents.

Student loans always in the news. Some high. Higher than I thought.

Mike Mera is 37. An orthodontist. Borrowed $600,056 for his education. Now owes in excess of $1 million. He makes his monthly payment religiously. $1,589.97. Will never get ahead. The interest is $130 a day. Per month, $3,9000.

He’s not the only one. One hundred one borrowers owe in excess of $1 million.

I am not a bird expert. One who is is an ornithologist. I looked up the word.

The reason is this past week I discovered two birds living in my walled yard. Bigger than a sparrow, smaller than a pigeon. Shades of brown.

They obviously are a couple. They are together all day. Generally sit on a wood bench in the corner next to each other. Rarely move. Never fight.

Enjoy your holiday!

 

 

 

IRAN AND AMERICAN INDIANS HAVE MUCH IN COMMON

Trump got his way yesterday. He withdrew the U.S. from the nuclear agreement with Iran. Chaos will result. Problems arise. Hopefully Iran and the remaining nations to the anti-nuclear pact can keep things on the straight and narrow.

Iran and the American Indians have much in common. The U.S. could not maintain agreements with either. Deals were made to be broken. Agreements kept only as long as it served the U.S.’s interest.

Honor becomes meaningless under the circumstances. A nation’s word, a person’s word, has to have meaning….. You can stand by me, I keep my word.

Trump’s walking away from the deal could also be part of a march to war with Iran. Some Republican Congressmen favor it. Saudi Arabia and Israel definitely. Both nations have sucked up to Trump big time since he became President.

I was beginning to feel sorry for Michael Cohen. Did I make a mistake! He is not merely the poor lackey of Donald Trump. Not when he is sitting on $4.4 million plus.

The question now is did he get to keep most of it? Or did it move into other hands?

Religion and government are like oil and water. They do not mix. The recent House/Speaker Ryan situation with House Chaplain Father Conroy a perfect example.

Washington Post opinion writer E. J. Dionne, Jr. wrote on May 5 concerning the event. Dionne commented, “The House Republican leadership was more inclined to push out a chaplain than to impose accountability on a President who is a proven liar and trashes the rule of law for his own selfish purposes day after day.”

Jennifer Rubin wrote in an opinion on December 15, 2017 that the religious right was not doing much for religion. Re evangelicals, she wrote that the group has become a politicized clergy who have made the word evangelical “toxic and divisive.”

American history took a back seat yesterday. A proud historic day forgotten. Buried beneath Trump tripe.

I refer to V-E Day. Yes, yesterday was Victory in Europe. Germany surrendered on May 8, 1945.

Such days must be remembered and celebrated. Otherwise, we forget who we are. Or should it be “who we were?”

Poor Venezuela. I have been following Venezuela closely since Maduro became President some five years ago.

The country is economically depressed. Inflation rampant. Paper money worthless. Food worse than scarce. People starving. They ate their pets long ago.

Maduro survives because he has the army and Venezuela’s congress behind him. All on the take. All benefiting while babies do not have milk.

Things have become so desperate that bartering has replaced currency. Things are swapped.

A haircut costs 5 bananas and 2 eggs. A cab ride a carton of cigarettes. A restaurant meal several packages of paper napkins. A spot in a parking lot a freshly baked baguette.

Medicine for humans hard to come by. Many are being treated with dog medicine.

Diapers are equivalent to a bar of gold. Pirates bring them in from Trinidad to trade.

While such is occurring, Venezuela continues to have the largest oil reserves in the world. Somehow Maduro has never been able to make the oil work to the benefit of his people.

Last night, my podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.

It was a fast moving half hour. From V-E Day to Iran and Stormy Daniels.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

CATHERINE, THE SAINT, AND TROPIC CINEMA

Another good night in Key West!

Remaining in and early to bed New Year’s Eve lost me nothing. As I reported New Years Day, every evening in Key West is New Year’s Eve.

Started early yesterday. Four thirty. My companion Catherine.

Falling is common with seniors. Especially me. At 82, I seem to have it under control. I watch every step I take. Pay attention to how I am moving. There will be times though when it will happen again.

Catherine is ten years younger than me. She uses a cane. Wobbly on her feet. Walks carefully. Hers not a balance problem. She had hip replacement surgery in October. Still recovering.

She toppled last week at Berlin’s. Not at all last night.

We have a problem when we are together should she fall. I cannot help her up. My heart. I lift nothing. Additionally, when I bend down, I get dizzy and go completely down.

Catherine tends to drop things. Retrieval her headache. She understands.

We are a dangerous couple together.

The game plan was Happy Hour at the Saint and then across the street to the Tropic Cinema to see the Churchill film Darkest Hour.

Food and atmosphere at the Saint excellent.

Then to the movies.

I was anxious to see the Darkest Hour. Love World War II stories. The film is good, not excellent. Worth seeing. Gary Oldman may win an Academy Award for his performance.

I was taken with the woman who played Churchill’s wife. A difficult role. Perhaps a Best Supporting Actress nomination.

Our evening was over at 8:30 when I returned Catherine home. Still early. Decided to stop at the Chart Room.

Ollie there. We have not seen each other in months. An environmental genius. Takes nature seriously.

Ollie just returned from a two week vacation. Drove Key West to Washington, DC and back. Except for Washington, stayed a day or two in small communities. Enjoyed the trip tremendously.

The Chart Room was quiet. Shaun bartending. All of a sudden, Jean Thornton showed up. She and Joe had dinner at Berlin’s. Joe was tired. Went home to sleep. The evening still early. Jean stopped in.

We had a very good time. Jean, Ollie, Shaun and Louis. Lots of laughs.

Wounded Warriors Day yesterday in Key West. The Wounded Warrior Project is nationwide. Veterans bike long distances for 3-4 days. Yesterday, they came down from Boca Chica to Key West.

Cheering groups along the way greeted the veterans.

A couple of hours before the bikers arrived was tie a yellow ribbon time. Recalls the popular song of the mid 1970’s.

Local veterans tied 180 yellow ribbons and small American flags on palm trees on North Roosevelt Boulevard and elsewhere. A proud time for watchers and the riders themselves.

The weather still cold. In the 50’s last night. Supposed to hit 70 during the day. Then down to 64 during the evening. Tomorrow or the next day, the daytime temperature will rise to 75-76 degrees. Not for long. Another cold front is coming in Saturday or Sunday and it will be Key West cold for a week.

Syracuse disaster yesterday! My team lost to Notre Dame 51-49. I missed the game. My concern growing.

Attorney General Sessions a man of the past. Nineteen fiftyish. He advised this week that his attorneys would be pursuing marijuana use where States had already made its recreational use legal. There is a Federal law in conflict with State law. The Federal law makes marijuana use illegal.

A waste of time and money. If Sessions wants to pursue drug suppliers and users, he should make war on the opioid epidemic engulfing the U.S. More than 100 persons a day dying from opioid use.

Gallup and Pew are respected pollsters. Each came out with a poll this week showing more than 60 percent of Americans favor the legalization of marijuana. Those not in favor primarily older citizens.

A subsequent article described those opposed as Neanderthals and self-righteous Evangelicals.

Trump made a big speech two months ago. Opioids an emergency situation. One problem, however. Trump did not put the money where his mouth was. He passed the buck to the States to make the war.

French President Macron accused the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia of desiring war with Iran. Claimed the three nations had a deliberate strategy to push war.

I agree. Look at who the U.S. has for partners. Israel and Saudi Arabia. Both great friends of Donald Trump. The old story that birds of a feather flock together.

I get the feeling Irma and Me is selling. People stop me to say they bought the book or ask me questions about it. People e-mail me to advise they ordered the book.

God bless!

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

 

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES

Last night was as different as day and night from the previous evening. Whereas thursday evening there were significantly less party goers on the streets, last night was like Fantasy Fest of old. Traffic crazy, Duval and side streets packed with costumed people, a few nudes, etc.

Appears everyone decided to arrive in Key West on the weekend, rather the days leading up to it.

The Masquerade Parade which had started at the Cemetery was moving along Simonton when I arrived. I forgot it was taking place. I was in a traffic jam for a half hour 4-5 blocks back from Simonton.

Finally had to travel over Whitehead and down Front to get to the Pier House. All the time promising myself there was no way I was going to the Parade tonight. Traffic too crazy!

The Chart Room was packed. Stayed about three hours. I did not think the Room could hold that many people.

A mixed group of out of towners sprinkled with a handful of locals. Many out of towners costumed. Conservatively. Only one bare breasted woman and hers were spray painted with a big bird.

As I drove to the Pier House over the long distance last night, I saw little nudity. Again, more costumes.

The past 48 hours, I have discussed with many reasons for the changes. Everyone agrees there is an obvious change.

Definitely less nudity. Perhaps the new group running the event has succeeded in that regard. Whether good or bad, I cannot say at this point. Time will tell.

The other is the number of parties. It used to be some of the bars would have parties on different nights. Different flavored parties. Sort of different strokes for different folks. Perhaps 2-4 an evening.

In recent rears the parties have grown in number. Some evenings as many as 10. Many I spoke with thought the parties were dragging party goers off the streets. Could be.

I am not sure of anything, except things are different this year.

Tonight, the highlight of Fantasy Fest. The Parade! Floats galore! Could be a disaster. Heavy rains scheduled for today and this evening.

Heavy rains at the moment as I sit here writing.

There is something called 93L out there. A tropical storm or hurricane in the making perhaps. Heavy rains and winds. Reportedly will not turn into a tropical storm or hurricane as it passes over Key West.

Could be a very wet evening as the floats travel down Duval.

I doubt the rain will diminish the thrill and boisterousness of the crowd. They will remain in the rain shouting for beads which are thrown from the floats.

I had been drinking. Had not eaten. Stopped at Tavern ‘n Town on the way home for the late Happy Hour. Quiet. Three or four at the bar. Everyone downtown. I ate lightly and read the newspapers.

Key West has many tales of ghosts living on the island. One involves the ghost at the Key West Cemetery.

The Cemetery is not large. Only so much land available on an island as small as Key West for a burial ground. The cemetery 170 plus years old. Estimated 100,000 already buried there. We stack bodies.

Many claim they have seen a woman of Bahamian descent who they believe is a ghost. She appears both day and night.

She acts in a protective manner as regards the Cemetery. It is claimed she chastises those sitting on grave stones, walk across a grave, or in any way disrespect the dead.

She threatens  them, turns insolent, and then vanishes.

I have never met her. Hope I never do. I enjoy cemeteries so it could happen. I am a lover of history. Tombstone engravings tell the story of a community from way back when to present day.

Robots/artificial intelligence making great headway! Something new every day.

Sophia Robot was introduced recently at the Future Investment Initiative Conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Sophia is a female robot. Very attractive. Highly advanced. Well spoken. Responds to questions intelligently when interviewed.

The Saudis were impressed. At the Conference, Sophia was given full rights of citizenship. The first woman to be so honored.

The citizen thing strange. Sophia was born in effect in Hong Kong. Created there by Hanson Robotics. The first foreigner to be honored with Saudi citizenship. The first robot, also.

Sophia did not wear a burqa nor was she fully covered. She was dressed western style. A lovely hairdo.

Sophia can travel anywhere she wants in Saudi Arabia unaccompanied by a man.

Sort of hypocritical. A real Saudi female cannot do many things. A female robot can.

My publisher…..Where is my book? I keep waiting for its publication to be announced. Hurry!

Enjoy your day!

TOLSTOY’S WAR AND PEACE

A quiet soft-peddling day yesterday. Only time out of the house was for a walk in the morning.

Spent time working on tonight’s podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Intended to go to Aqua for Dueling Bartenders. Changed my mind. Instead remained home and watched a movie I last saw 61 years ago in 1956.

The move to a new home brought with it new Comcast equipment. One item, the remote control. Appears to have access to everything.

One thing that excites me is I now speak to change channels. No clicking anything. Only problem is you have to know what you want to see. Either channel name or whatever name.

One of the whatevers is a movie selected by name.

I was playing around with the remote around 5. A learning process.

In 1956, I was a junior in college. I took several Russian history courses. One required a reading of Tolstoy’s War and Peace and thereafter a paper analyzing the novel. The paper 25 percent of the final grade.

War and Peace an opus. The paperback version 1,440 pages.

I was working two jobs at the time. Six to 10 hours a day, depending on the day. Taking 18 hours. Something had to give.

I cheated. Not the usual type cheating. Cheating never the less.

The War and Peace movie had just come out. About 3.5 hours. The movie long as was the book. I went to see the movie.

Then to the library. Read a very brief synopsis and several lengthy comments.

Made notes along the way.

The time finally arrived. The paper had to be written. Sat down at my portable Smith-Corona and went to work. My recollection is the paper was about 12 pages single spaced. Redid it twice to get everything right.

I received a B+ on the paper.

I was proud and did not feel guilty.

I enjoyed the movie War and Peace last night. I had only seen it that one time in 1956. The new remote and Comcast programming permitted it.

The reason I was never able to watch it on TV over the years was it never ran. Available today as a pay film. Only $3.99.

War and Peace involves a Russian family and Napoleon’s ill fated attack of Russia in 1812. The theme song especially enchanting.

I consider War and Peace the second best Russian film I have seen. The other, Dr. Zhivago. Never read Zhivago. However, it never required reading in any course I took.

Donald Trump and Donald Trump, Jr. have a propensity to lie. Must be an asset in the construction business. Not otherwise in life.

Lying always leads to trouble. The lies have to be expanded. Each to explain the previous.

Re lying, Abraham Lincoln and Mark twain said it well.

Lincoln said, “No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.”

Twain, “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”

As I used to tell juries in summation in cases where I had caught a witness in a significant lie: Woe the web we weave when first we seek to deceive.

I am a bit of a hypocrite this morning. I criticize the Trumps for lying when I cheated on a paper. Not comparable. However, both immoral.

Podcast time tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.

Topics include the cost of housing and the dying middle class, Venezuela currency collapse, proposed U.S. Space Corps, Bernie Sanders’ wife getting unfairly beaten up.

Also, my thoughts re FBI nominee Christopher Wray, millions in the process of fleeing Somalia and Sudan for Europe, the capture of the golf course crocodile, and Hemingway Days.

Interesting material. A fast moving half hour. Join me. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!

YESTERDAYS FEW KNOW

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

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

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

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

I immediately thought…..If she only knew!

I was born in 1935.

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

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

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

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

A big deal!

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

The phones got smaller. I recall the flip top.

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

Only took eighty two years!

When I am gone, will anyone remember?

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

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

Used it all the time in college. Term papers!

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

Now, vintage typing parties!

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

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

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

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

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

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

They were impressed I could write!

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

Enjoy your day!

 

CABINET KISSES ASS

Trump news overwhelming. Directly and indirectly. On a daily basis.

Yesterday’s Cabinet meeting. The camera went around the table and captured comments by each Cabinet member telling Trump what a great job he was doing.

Actually, sickening. Powerful independent people in their other lives paying adulation to a leader not entitled to their words.

The Cabinet represents the President’s chief advisers. They fail when they kiss ass.

Trump’s comments at the same Cabinet meeting. Claimed he was one of the most productive Presidents in American history. He has passed more legislation at a record setting pace. Only Franklin Delano Roosevelt could come close.

Trump deceives himself. He is a mental case. He and Roosevelt are not even close to being in the same class. Name one piece of major legislation Trump has passed.

Boeing. I thought Trump beat up Boeing early on. Brought Boeing to the table of submission. Trump’s message to Boeing understood: My way or the highway.

Boeing is now building or in the planning stage to build plants in China, Saudi Arabia and India. Boeing says worry not. The overseas moves will not reduce the number of jobs Boeing has in the United States.

What about increasing jobs? Much needed jobs!

Trump is like Nero. One played a musical instrument. Trump keeps looking at himself in the mirror and reciting what a good boy am I. Nero so doing while Rome burned. The other while America dies.

Boeing secured $50 billion in defense and commercial sales from Saudi Arabia during Trump’s recent state visit. The pact included an agreement to complete Boeing Apache attack helicopters in Saudi Arabia.

Boeing is also interested in assembling fighter jets in India. A deal involving more than 100 planes.

Does color matter?

Public Theater has been presenting Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar in a modern setting. Donald Trump is portrayed as Caesar. A Caesar dressed in a business suit with a long tie who gets knifed to death on the stage. Hair Trump style.

Delta and Bank of America pulled their sponsorships of the show.

The same play toured the United States in 2012 by The Acting Company. Caesar was played by an Afro-American actor in a business suit. Closely resembled Obama.

No one withdrew their sponsorships nor were there any adverse comments.

Last night began with delivering Terri to Aqua. I did not go in. Hurried to Tavern ‘n Town for a bite to eat and read the newspapers. The season is over and seats at the bar available.

Returned to Aqua afterwards. Enjoyed the end of Terri’s performance. Chatted with Donna. Lynda and Bob Frechette also.

Tom Luna and Rick Dey the Dueling Bartenders.

Key West is fortunate to have Donna and Terri and Lynda and Bob and Tom and Rick as residents and supporters.

Home early. Part of my game plan for the evening. Wanted to catch the Cleveland/Golden State game. A good one! The Warriors have won it all. A new dynasty born.

My podcast tonight. Some Trump and some other things. All interesting. Join me at 9 my time. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!

TEAR DOWN THE WALL

Two events have occurred in my lifetime which I consider momentous. Man on the moon and the Berlin Wall coming down. No other event excels.

Man walking on the moon blew my mind. A real WOW! Inconceivable.

The Berlin Wall went up in 1969. Communist Russia and the United states were at each other’s throats for years. Fear of war overwhelmed us.

On this day in 1987, President Ronald Reagan stood before the Berlin wall and said to Secretary Gorbachev, “Take down this wall!”

Reagan had brass balls.

The Wall came down two years later. The Berlin people themselves knocked it down. Brick by brick, stone by stone.

Absolutely amazing!

The Soviet Union would dissolve two years later. Who would have thought?

Pride and Women’s Equality Parades yesterday. Both successful events. Crowds on the sidewalk cheering. Pride floats magnificent. Everyone happy!

One hundred feet of the Rainbow Flag was carried the length of the Parade.

The group on one of the floats kept repeating : Love, not hate, that’s what makes America great. A fitting slogan. A better variation on anything Trump has said thus far.

Today in Bayview Park, 49 Rainbow Flags are flying to commemorate the 49 lives lost one year ago today at Orlando’s Pulse Club.  In addition, a one hundred foot section of the Rainbow Flag flies in Orlando today.

Love one another!

William Hackley’s diary entry of yesterday in 1856 noted that his daughter Lucia had the chicken pox.

I recall the chicken pox when I had them at 3 or 4 years of age. My father dabbing me with calamine lotion to ease the itching.

Then came my four children. All close in age. We had 4 in 5 years.

They all came down with chicken pox the same summer. Not all at once, however. One every two weeks. A long summer!

I did as my father. Dabbed the sores with calamine lotion.

Qatar a problem place. For a short time, I hope. Muscle flexing by Saudi Arabia and a few other Arab states.

Qatar is small. Very small. Very rich. It has huge supplies of natural gas. Qatar and Iran have shared the benefits of the natural gas together for years.

Qatar has hired former Attorney General John Ashcroft and his law firm to represent Qatar in its problems with Saudi Arabia and others. Ashcroft was Attorney General under Bush 2.

The pay is good. A retainer of $2.5 million. For only the first 90 days of work.

Terri sings tonight with the Dueling Bartenders at Aqua.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

GAY BETSY ROSS

A group of historians credit Betsy Ross with making the first American flag. Questionable. Another group say she had nothing to do with the flag.

That group claims Betsy was the madam of a house of ill repute. She and her girls purported to be seamstresses as a cover. The girls would sit around waiting for men to take them to a back room for pay and play.

When the history of the flag was first being written, the writer was in a quandary as to who actually made the flag. No one knew. One of those he was talking with said Betsy Ross, the seamstress. He was joking.

Whatever, the Betsy Ross and flag story stuck. To this day, most believe it.

What does this have to do with the Gay Betsy Ross? Nothing actually. Except for name application. The maker of the Key West Pride Flag has become known as the Gay Betsy Ross.

Gilbert Baker was gay. Proud and open about it.

The time 1978.

Harvey Milk was the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

Milk was assassinated the same year.

Gilbert Baker a Key Wester at the time. He created the Rainbow Flag. A big one! More than a mile long. Intended to symbolize diversity and equality, as well as in memory of Milk.

The flag covered the entire length of Duval Street from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico.

2003 found Key West celebrating the 25th anniversary of the flag. Known also by that time as the Sea to Sea Diversity Flag.

The flag first as a whole and now in parts has become an integral part of today’s Pride Parade.

Mayor Craig Cates has named June 15th as Gilbert Baker Day in honor of his creating the flag.

There are two parades today. Immediately following the Pride Parade, the Florida Keys Women’s March for Equality will parade down to Duval. Actual title of the parade: Equality March and Rally for Unity and Pride.

The Women’s Parade is a grass roots movement being held today. Across 110 cities world wide. Cities where women support LGBTQ+ individuals.

As mentioned, Harvey Milk inspired Baker to make the flag. Milk’s nephew Stuart Milk will speak at St. Paul’s today at the conclusion of the Women’s Parade.

Dinner with Donna and Terri last night at Tavern ‘n Town. Today, they both will be watching/participating in the parades.

Lynda and Bob Frechette at the bar. They leave Key West Tuesday for the summer. Great people. Good friends. Love them both. I will see them one last time Monday night at Dueling Bartenders. Terri is guest performer. They will be there supporting Terri.

Bobby Nesbitt performed last night. He leaves today for New York City. A week of Broadway shows. He mentioned looking forward to seeing Hello Dolly, Hamilton, and Sunset Boulevard, amongst others.

Chatted briefly with Dennis the Manager. He does his job well.

Donna, Terri and I were at the bar a long time. May have been the last to leave. The time well spent laughing at one story after another. Including one involving Patrick and Terri at Rosie’s in the Village many years ago.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

I DINED WELL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sounds like money wasted to me.

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

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

I continue the Trump emboldening Saudi Arabia kick.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy your day!