POLENTA

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

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

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

Now, I love it!

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

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

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

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

I got to like polenta during my Courmayeur stays.

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

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

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

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

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

Before Roostica, I stopped at the Chart Room.

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoyed my time with Lana and Gary. Good people!

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

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

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

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

A difficult feat.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Such is life.

Enjoy your day!

 

FUCK YOU NOT KEY WEST

Trump’s recent Key West visit gives me concern.

The Miami New Times videoed the Trump caravan as it passed City Hall and made the turn onto United. Short and shocking.

First, shouts of Love Trump’s Hate. Then boos and hisses. Followed by FUCK YOU! Loud. Several times. Topped off with a woman giving the President the finger.

Fuck You! is not Key West. I cannot believe Key Westers would utter such a profanity to a President of the United States.

Many lack respect for the President. Properly so. A man who does not give respect cannot expect it in return. FUCK YOU! goes beyond a mere lack of respect. It shows disrespect. The dis important. It requires affirmative action regarding the respect issue.

Key West would not disrespect.

I have been a part of the Key West community one way or another for 30 years. A homeowner 20. A resident 12. I know my friends, I know the people of Key West.

Contrary to thought, Key West is a conservative community. Take away several blocks of Duval and what is left is small town America. A blend of conservative and liberal values.

I read somewhere last week that organizers from outside our community were coming to Key West to organize an anti-Trump protest. I have to believe it was the outsiders who were dirty mouthing and fingering the President.

If correct, then we have to be careful in the future who we listen to with regard to protests.

I personally am anti-Trump. From day one. His record before and since President reflect him to be inept, corrupt, immoral, a racist, and homophobic. My hope is we survive his Presidency.

I spent the better part of an hour yesterday watching the Barbara Bush service. Touching. Moving. I cried.

What the world needs are more Barbara Bushes.

The Chart Room first to meet Buffalo’s Fran and Tom Dixson last night. Great people! Good friends!

Fran brought me 4 jars of sauce and pork. A couple loaves of low carb bread. And some other goodies.

Fran and Tom just returned from 2 weeks in Sicily and southern Italy. Fran, Sicilian. My former wife and her mother were Sicilian.

Sicilians tough people. I some time wonder how I survived my wife and mother in law.

From the Chart Room to the A&B Lobster House for dinner. Outstanding!

We did not have a reservation. Lucked out. Sloan’s daughter Shaina hosting. We were seated immediately. Great conversation, drinks and food. We chatted the evening away.

I have a long day ahead of me. This week’s KONK Life column due today. I have delayed to the last minute. Several topics in mind. Not sure which one yet.

Today is Earth Day. The first Earth Day in 1970. Always celebrated April 22.

The purpose of an Earth Day was to increase awareness of the world’s environmental problems. Such has constantly been accomplished since 1970.

Interestingly, 1970 also found the EPA being established. Its purpose to regulate and enforce national pollution legislation.

The United States a healthier and safer place to live and work because of the EPA. The same EPA today being torn apart by Trump. Years of safety regulations killed by the stroke of a pen. For the sole purpose of helping corporate America make more profit.

Corporate America generally comes out on top. Today’s example Wells Fargo.

Wells Fargo was fined by the Trump administration $1 billion for predatory mortgage practices.

No big deal for Wells Fargo. The company will be pocketing more than $3 billion this year as a result of Trump’s new tax law.

The World Bank is an international friend to business and countries.

The draft of its annual World Development Report came out this week. It recommends that countries eliminate minimum wage requirements, dismantle wrongful dismissal rules, and repeal laws providing contractual protections for workers.

More wealth and advantage for the rich based on the ashes of the working class.

The World Bank explains its decision. These drastic moves are required to discourage employers from rushing into robots and automation which would eliminate many human jobs.

A non-sensical excuse. The World Bank must think people are stupid.

Enjoy your Sunday!

RAIN IN SPAIN DOES NOT STAY MAINLY ON THE PLAIN

First, a major screw up yesterday. The blog was titled Tosh Memorial Service Today. I forgot to click PUBLISH when finished. Ergo, it never got published yesterday.

Upon discovering my error this morning, I published the blog even though a day late. It bears today’s date. Read it with the mistake in mind. Otherwise, you will pickup on a Lincoln death date that will read wrong.

I am now doing today’s blog. Note both blogs will bear the same date. So read both.

Jean rode a high speed 196 mile per hour train over the high mountain regions of Spain yesterday. Madrid to Barcelona. Reports the landscape on the mountains desert like.

Started raining as the train descended into Barcelona. Jean wrote, “So apparently the rain in Spain does not stay mainly on the plain but rather near the train.”

From the train to a bus to the ship. Ship magnificent. She and Joe were greeted with champagne and warm towels.

Their stateroom gorgeous! King sized bed, flat TV screen, big closet, 2 sitting chairs, a coffee table and mini fridge. The bathroom large.

They were booked for an off ship flamenco dinner show. However, jet lag was beating them up. They opted to remain on board for dinner. The meal delicious. Then took in a Cuban music show. Jean said she could not keep awake. Her head kept bobbing. Left the show early for bed.

Jean has been in Spain 48 hours. She is already acclimated to the language and customs. Her good bye to me was “Adios!”

Attended Tosh’s memorial service at St. Paul’s yesterday afternoon. The respect for Tosh obvious. The Church was packed. I would estimate 400.

Service excellent. His children’s words touching. His grandchildren beautiful.

At the conclusion of the service, a Scottish bagpiper appeared. He played some tunes. Then led the Pastor, Tosh’s immediate family and close friends out a side door to St. Paul’s burial ground. His ashes were interned in St. Paul’s Memorial Garden and Columbarium in a private ceremony.

I started to write this week’s KONK Life column earlier in the afternoon. Could not put it together. Not the material. The set up on the computer. Got nothing done.

Sloan is due here this morning around 11:30 to set me up. Thank God for Sloan!

I hope she makes it. She will have to travel over Cow Key Bridge just before the race starts. A thousand people to get through.

I had planned dinner with Donna and Terri in the evening. Received an e-mail from Catherine earlier in the afternoon. I forgot I was supposed to join her for a sunset cruise anniversary party. Cancelled Donna and Terri. Understanding people.

The cruise was on a Southernmost Island Charter. A big vessel. One hundred fifty guests. Mostly members of the Key West Sunrise Rotary.

It was a 30th anniversary celebration. The host is a member of the Rotary and invited the members to join he and his wife.

Cruise 3 hours. Two in the sun. Followed by sunset. Then another hour on the water.

Food and refreshments excellent. A good time had by all.

The last time I did a sunset cruise was 5 years ago. Last night’s a reminder I should do it more often.

The Chorale Concert this afternoon at 4 at St. Paul’s. Fifty plus singers. Everything from Mendelssohn to Billy Joel.

A $20 donation requested at the door.

My day scheduled. Sloan and then actually writing this week’s KONK Life column. Followed by Hot Dog Church, the Chorale, and Kate Miano’s Gardens. Terri is singing.

I will only be able to make 2 of the 3, if I am lucky. Terri is a definite. The Chorale hopefully. Hot Dog Church will have to do without me this week.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

JOHN HERSEY…..TALES OF KEY WEST

Noted writer John Hersey spent his winters in Key West and summers in Martha’s Vineyard.

He was born in Tientsin, China. His parents Protestant ministers. Hershey spoke Chinese before English. He died in Key West March 23, 1993.

Hersey’s notable works include A Bell for Adano, Hiroshima, and Tales of Key West. It is Tales of Key West I wish to momentarily dwell on.

Tales was written in Hersey’s later years. He had seen and lived Key West first hand. Notable Tales include those of a man dying of AIDS trying to maintain his respectability, fake crime reports, and John James Audubon shooting staggering numbers of birds for the fun of it.

The item re the birds surprised me.

Summer is sneaking in. The seasons change dramatically in Key West. No slow slide. One or two days and the next season is here.

Key West springs always short. The temperatures the past few days indicative of summer’s arrival. Today, the high 83 and the low 76.

It is not the temperature so much. It is the humidity. I have felt it the past two days. Things get sticky. Your body warmer than it has been. Clothes uncomfortable. You’re sweating once again.

Publix at 9 yesterday morning. The cupboard bare again. Needed food desperately. No dinner the night before.

Saturday at 9 am a good time to shop Publix. No one there. Spent $100 and hurried home. Food getting more and more expensive. I do not know how families do it.

I had to complete yesterday’s blog. Researched the material before leaving for Publix. Did the actual writing upon returning.

I was Catherine’s guest for Happy Hour at Martin’s. A charming time. A few drinks. Followed by lamb chops and baked brie.

First part of today busy. Sloan at noon. I have to get back into a more disciplined work schedule. Completing Growing Up Italian on the agenda. Next week, I will begin writing the Key West Lou Commentary once a week for KONK Life. I have let Key West Lou Live slide. Have to get it back in the game.

Not difficult if my time is properly organized. We shall see.

Later this afternoon, I plan on spending some time at Kate Miano’s Gardens. Always a pleasant way to finish the weekend.

There was a fire yesterday on the 50th floor of Trump Towers. One dead, six firefighters injured.

The President’s personal home and offices are higher up on the top two floors.

This is the second fire this year in Trump Towers.

No sprinkler system! Can you imagine living or buying an apartment that high without a sprinkler system!

Sprinkler systems were not part of the New York City Building Code in 1984 when Trump Towers was built. The sprinkler system requirement did not become mandatory in new construction till sometime in the late 1990’s. Trump opposed it.

Scary living. Especially after having seen Towering Inferno a couple of nights ago for probably the 20th time.

Scott Pruitt is part of the swamp Trump promised to eliminate if elected. Instead he brought the likes of Pruitt and other scum to Washington.

For Pruitt’s misdeeds to date, he should be fired. Trump is not firing him. Instead, he praised him yesterday.

There has to be a reason why.

I suspect it is because Pruitt is an attorney and former Attorney General of Oklahoma.

Trump would like to get rid of Mueller. Sessions cannot do it because he recused himself. Rothstein does not appear willing to do it. Firing two Justice Department heads in one day would not look good.

I see the battle plan as follows. Trump fires Sessions. Replaces him with Pruitt. Since Pruitt has already been approved by the Senate for a cabinet position (EPA head), he does not need Senate approval to be Attorney General for seven months. He can serve on an interim appointment. In that time, he would fire Mueller.

Brilliant! Lousy! The stench will be overwhelming.

I am sick and tired of hearing Trump say ISIS has been defeated in Syria. Trump said he wanted to get out. Now his words are that ISIS is almost defeated and we’ll get out in several months.

ISIS is not defeated! They are hiding in their homes, mountains and caves waiting for the US to leave. Then, ISIS will return. The American lives lost for naught.

Another Syria problem is the US is there basically in opposition to Russia and Iran. In a friendly sort of way. Even Trump does not agree with the Russia-Iran position. However he avoids direct confrontation.

The US will be in Syria for years. You invade a country, you send troops in to help, you have bought the country for years.

The worst. Syria chemically attacked its people again yesterday. View the videos on TV. Men, women and children, alive or dying, foaming from their noses and mouths.

Syria is turning into another Vietnam time wise. As have several other Middle East countries. Afghanistan one. Quagmires. We get stuck in these places.

We go in, but never know how to get out.

Tuesday coming. My first book signing. Irma and Me. Andrews Inn at Zero Whalton Lane. Noon to 3. Three other authors signing, also. Someone doing a reading. Refreshments. Should be fun.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

 

 

WINTER STORM GRAYSON…..A BOMB CYCLONE

I sermonize to begin.

There is global warming. Those of you who do not believe look around. The past few years have been replete with huge inexplicable storms of all sorts.

An example is the winter storm upon us at the moment. Non-believers will say if there is global warming, why the snow and cold?

Educate yourselves, my non believing friends. Global warming has to do with climate and not a certain type storm at a particular time. If you wish to learn more, google global warming. Do not be a Trump. You can read. A little education never hurt.

Even winter storms now have names. The storm affecting the eastern United States has been labeled Winter Storm Grayson. Rather formal sounding.

Grayson is being described as a bomb cyclone. A phrase new to me and probably you. Ominous sounding.

Grayson an epic cold snap. Before done, a record setting deep freeze will have been recorded. The worst from North Carolina north along the eastern seaboard. Winds 80 miles per hour. Waves 26 feet. Temperatures below zero. Snow where snow has not fallen in 50 years.

The worst to begin late today. Grayson will be with the U.S. till late sunday.

I find the following dramatic: Temperatures below freezing in 92 percent of the U.S. yesterday.

Zooed penguins will not remain outdoors. They are going inside to avoid the cold. Sharks are washing up dead on the beaches of Cape Cod. Caused by unusually cold waters.

Mentioning Key West, it was cold last night. Fifty four degrees. Fifty six degrees as I write this morning. The high today 62. Same tonight and tomorrow. Long pants, sweaters and jackets the rest of the week. Heat, also.

I am becoming a recluse. Never left the house yesterday again. Worked with Sloan for several hours. Then Syracuse/Wake Forest at 7. Better watched from my bed.

Syracuse lost 73-67. The team was not at Wake Forest to play 40 minutes. They played only half the time. The last 10 minutes of the first half and the first 10 minutes of the second half.

Syracuse’s famed zone defense could not stop Wake Forest. They scored from the key and corners at will. Syracuse did not control the boards. Something I could not understand. We have one of the tallest teams in the country.

The game came down to who made the shots in the last few minutes. Wake Forest did, Syracuse did not.

As Winter Storm Grayson is arriving, Irma’s impacts still with us.

Debris removal.

Turns out the State hired contractor to handle the US 1 debris not experienced. Supposed to have the job finished by January 16. The contractor will not make it.

The side roads a problem,also. Worse. Monroe County’s contractor is working on the problem. Slowly, but deliberately. He has no time limit.

The reason for the difficulty in the clean up is that neither the State nor County were prepared for how bad Irma was. Its impact not expected. Experience a good teacher. Everyone will be ready the next time.

Two days ago, I wrote about the movie of George Bernard Shaw’s play Caesar and Cleopatra. My dear friend Diana Millikan wrote me yesterday. Another Cleopatra movie on its way.The screen writer David Scarpa, director Denis Villeneuve. SONY Studio backing the project.

The movie will be a different Cleopatra. Done from Cleopatra’s point of view. The female point of view.

Scarpa says the movie will be “dirty, bloody, lots of people swearing and having sex and all that other stuff…..a lean, mean political thriller, full of assassinations.”

Steve Bannon and Michael Wolff’s new book Fire and Fury. Wow! If only 20 percent true, wow!

The U.S. is like a ship at sea in troubled waters. Trump the captain. Trump remains in his cabin while the ship is in danger of being swamped.

Trump makes Captain Queeg of Caine Mutiny fame look like a hero.

Recall the gang that could not shoot straight. There is a country that cannot shot straight. At least on one occasion.

North Korea.

April 17, 2017. North Korea was testing an intermediate range missile. It was supposed to land in the seas past Japan. Instead, it fell on the North Korea city of Tokchon. A few miles from Pyongyang.

Details of deaths and damage withheld by the North Korean government.

It is claimed various media outlets world wide carried the news of the accidental bombing. I do not recall hearing of it.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

GEORGE BERNARD SHAW’S CAESAR AND CLEOPATRA

 

I cheated yesterday. Took time off in the afternoon to watch the movie adaptation of George Bernard Shaw’s Caesar and Cleopatra.

Normally, tuesdays are spent preparing for my podcast Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou in the evening. I became engrossed with the movie. Meant I had to work my ass off afterwards to make sure everything was in order for the podcast.

The movie outstanding! Claude Rains as Caesar and Vivien Leigh as Cleopatra. Rains short of stature to play Caesar. Leigh the best Cleopatra I have seen

The movie a fictionalized account of Caesar and Cleopatra’s relationship. Humorous. Very much so.

Shaw wrote Caesar and Cleopatra as a play in 1898. The movie was shot in 1945. Shaw still alive. He collaborated closely on the production.

I recall two other Caesar/Cleopatra movies. One earlier starring Claudette Colbert. The mega production in later years starring Elizabeth Taylor. The two were not Shaw’s work reproduced. They were written for the screen by others based on historical accounts.

I always loved Colbert. Unfortunately, she runs a distant third to Leigh and Taylor as Cleopatra. Taylor the beauty! An outstanding actress! Lovely in the film! Never the less runs second to Leigh in my opinion.

Vivien Leigh the star of the earlier Gone With The Wind. A serious performance. Caesar and Cleopatra comedic. She fit the part. Also, her natural beauty more apparent in the film.

One problem. The film was an economic failure. Lost $3 million. A tidy sum in 1945.

I watched the show on Turner Classic Movies. If you get the chance, watch it. You will not be disappointed.

My podcast went well later in the evening. I was prepared. Hit on several current matters. A total of ten topics. Trump a part of four.

Speaking of Trump, he had a busy day yesterday. His first day back since a 10 day family vacation. His plate had to be full. Much requiring his attention.

He jumped right in. Obviously worked hard. Sent out 16-18 tweets. Pissed off half the world. Aggravated the White House staff.

I have a busy evening. Sloan at 5:30. Syracuse/Wake Forest at 7. Wake Forest a one point favorite.

My afternoon today busy also. At least 2 hours work preparing for Sloan’s visit at 5:30.

I will not leave the house again today. There is always tomorrow.

You have to admire Iceland. They are always a step ahead.

Following the bank debacle of 2008, they prosecuted and jailed bankers. Those at the top. Something I have been recommending for years we do in the U.S.

They elect women big time. Almost 50 percent of their Parliament is female. They elected a woman Prime Minister in November.

Iceland recently passed a law that allows companies who pay women less than men to be punished. Fined. No jail. A step forward, however.

Equal pay laws have no teeth. They tell the companies females must be paid equal to men. Enforcement lacking. Iceland recognized the problem and moved the step ahead.

It is generally acknowledged the law would not have come into being were it not for the large number of women in Parliament.

Enjoy your day!

 

GEORGE

I was paying my bill at the bar at Antonia’s last night. Sensed someone behind me. Turned. A lovely blond. Magnificent. Hair style a bit different. Short punk? Punk pixie? Short spiky? To me, they all look alike. The cut marvelous.

It was obvious she knew me. I could not recall her. It was George. George is a lady.

I have seen George probably six times in fifteen years. The first time at Lisa’s wedding. The event at the Southernmost Beachside. We took over the restaurant and entire beach. Food and drink stations everywhere.

I was at one of the martini bars. A young lady spoke to me. George. She introduced herself as a friend of Lisa’s. My recollection is we enjoyed two apple martini’s each as we talked.

I recall not the specifics of the conversation. Recognized George was a deep thinking sensitive woman. I enjoyed our time together.

As mentioned earlier, last night was the sixth time I have seen her in 15 years.

George is a bartender at Hogsbreath. When we first met. Even  today. Dillon her husband.

We exchanged a few pleasantries. Then invited me to join her friends at the other end of the bar. She wanted me to meet Joni, a relative newcomer to Key West.

I knew Dillon, Nic and Cori Convertino.

I refer to Cori normally by her title. Doctor. She has a Doctorate. Impressive. She is the Curator at the Key West Art and Historical Society (KWAHS).

Cori’s work brilliant. Her shows and offerings at the Custom House beyond the best. I have come to admire her greatly.

Nic, her husband.

I was introduced to Joni. Told she read my blog everyday. Such made her an instantaneous hit with me.

We walked to the other end of the bar and chatted.

Originally from outside Philadelphia, she has lived in Key West six months. Already bought a place. A condominium on Petronia between Duval and Whitehead.

Joni has an MBA. Spent a lifetime working in finance for Sunoco. Already employed in Key West. With KWAHS.

Attractive. A nice person. I sense we shall meet again.

Sitting next to me during dinner were Jan Gebhart and Bob Pracher. A Key West love story. Both widowers. Now have a home in Key West.

In her other life, Jan was in the scrap metal business in northern Indiana. We had much to talk about. I was an environmental attorney. Sheet metal and environmental lawyering go hand in hand.

Bob impressed me. He owned a BMW distributorship in Westbury, Long Island. Third largest in the country. Sold 4,000 BMW’s a year.

Nicole bartending. Seven straight weeks. TK stayed north with his mother extra long. TK back tuesday. Nicole will return to waitressing.

I enjoyed Nicole’s company as bartender. A charming engaging woman.

Prior to Antonia’s, I was at Kate Miano’s Gardens. The Gardens was hit hard by Irma.

The property extensive. Surrounded by a large wooded area. Huge trees. Some probably back to Indian days.

Many wiped out.

There was one empty area relatively large. I thought perhaps a guest house had been situated the spot. No. Merely tall trees. All gone.

Irma has effected her business. She had to return deposits in the six figures. No insurance to cover the tree losses.

Kate is one of the smartest and aggressive women I know. She and her Gardens will recover.

Saw many friends. Jean Thornton one of them. My joy to see Jean. We will have a special bond the rest of our lives.

Earlier in the day, Sloan and I spent four hours finalizing work on Irma and Me. Tedious. E-mailed everything to the Publisher. He advised the book may be out by week’s end.

Tonight, Dueling Bartenders and I know not what else.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

SLOW DANCE

Facebook friend Aung Lin sent me a poem. A touching poem by a teenage young lady who will be dead from cancer in six months. The poem, Slow Dance.

Her message is to live life to its fullest. Recognize this young lady will never make it to a prom, graduate from high school, or be married and have a family of her own.

Read and be touched. Impossible not to be.

SLOW DANCE

Have you ever watched kids on a merry-go-round? / Or listened to the rain slapping on the ground? / Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight? / Or gazed at the sun into the fading night? / You better slow down. / Don’t dance so fast. / Time is short. / The music won’t last. / Do you run each day on the fly? / When you ask “How are you? / Do you hear the reply? / When the day is done, do you lie in bed / With the next hundred chores running through your head? / You’d better slow down / Don’t dance so fast. / Time is short / The music won’t last. / Ever told your child, / We’ll do it tomorrow? / And in your haste, Not see his sorrow? / Ever lost touch, let a good friend die / Cause you never had time / To call and say ‘Hi?’ / You’d better slow down. / Don’t live so fast. / Time is short. / The music won’t last. / When you run so fast to get somewhere, / You miss half the fun of getting there. / When you worry and hurry through your day, / It is like an unopened gift….. / Thrown away / Life is not a race. / Do take it slower / Hear the music / Before the song is over.

God bless!

Last night was Berlin’s. First time since Irma. Berlin’s and A& B took a beating. Windows blown out, roof leaks, etc. Still on the mend.

Business slow. Very slow. Only two of us for dinner, several for drinks. No Bria. Not enough customers. Closing time was 9.

I was not that hungry. Oysters Rockefeller, a Caesar Salad, and a couple of drinks.

Two of those stopping in for a drink were Gene and Frank. With Hurricane Disaster Relief. Met one of them lat year at the Chart Room.

Met also Heidi Schramm. An interesting lady. Born in Germany. Now a bartender in Marathon. Marathon took a beating.

She stopped into Southernmost Tattoo on Duval the night before. The place that had a fire a couple of weeks ago. She has a new tattoo on one ankle. A palm tree bending over in the wind. A rest of her life reminder of Irma.

Quick stop at Publix on the way home.

A busy day ahead. Finishing all work related to Irma and Me. Sloan will be helping. Publication soon.

Fantasy Feat around the corner. Goombay, Friday.

I wonder how big a crowd. Business still slow. Many restaurants and bars will not be open till after November 1. Repairs lengthy.

Trump. Oh, our President! In his other life a builder. As President, a destroyer. Examples the Iran agreement, Obamacare, and Puerto Rico.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

PUERTO RICO…..WHY?

I do not understand.

Trump and the federal government performed well re Harvey, Irma, and Maria where ever required in the continental United States. Why has the government turned its back on Puerto Rico? Why is it failing Puerto Rico?

Trump motivated? I think so.

Something stinks re Puerto Rico and it is not the rotting seaweed and fish. It is Washington.

While Trump golfs this weekend in New Jersey, Puerto Ricans are suffering. Some dying. Many drink polluted water from creeks. Millions are without electricity. There is limited gas and cash. ATMs and credit card machines are not working. Cash is king. Few have neither cash nor the ability to get cash. Medicines unavailable. Few hospitals open.

Trump will shower, have food to eat, drink clean water, have a flushing toilet, enjoy air conditioning, have available to him whatever pills he takes, etc. No Puerto Rican will.

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz is mad as hell. Properly so. She claims the federal government is not doing its job. Trump retaliates by tweeting he questions her leadership ability. He claims the Puerto Ricans want everything done for them when it should be a community effort.

He tells us Puerto Rico is broke. Insinuating such might be a reason for failing to properly assist.

His responses do not make sense. Not from the person who is father to all American citizens.

Puerto Rico’s Governor Ricardo Rossello appears to lack back bone. Afraid to speak the truth to higher authority. From the beginning, he has been praising Trump and the help provided.

A picture is worth a thousand words. Television continues to show ruin and devastation. Trump is intimating and will probably say at some point that such is fake news. I expect no less.

Something is wrong. What specially, I cannot put my finger on. Are there those who will enjoy terrific financial gain down the road? Or, is it because Puerto Ricans are persons of color, tan?

I hope Trump as he plays golf this weekend puts three balls in the water and loses three in the woods. He deserves no better.

Sloan and I worked on Irma and Me again yesterday afternoon. The book is taking shape.

My first stop last night was the Chart Room. I was the only customer when I arrived at 5:30. Just John and me. Stayed that way for a while. By the time I left around 8, the place was packed. Surprisingly, most were tourists.

Met am interesting woman. Brenda. Slight, white haired and lovely.

Brenda just short of being a Conch. Her parents moved to Key West when she was 2. At some point, she left. Returned in 2000.

Brenda is a realtor affiliated with Old Town Realty.

Old Town Realty is located on the massive second floor of the enormous concrete building overlooking Dante’s. The same area where Prime One is located.

She waited out Irma in Old Town Realty’s offices with co-workers and friends. Brenda has experienced many Key West hurricanes. Never left. Even for one.

Then to Tavern ‘n Town for the late Happy Hour.

You would never know Irma had been by. The bar and most of the restaurant were packed. All seemed to be tourists.

The Key West cleanup is a massive undertaking. Debris on every street. On every side of every street. It is going to take time.

The smell is only a problem after a rainstorm. The sun comes out. The humidity sky rockets. The odor ugh!

The State screwed up with the cross walks when it redid North Roosevelt Boulevard. They are dangerous. Accident, injuries, and deaths were inevitable.

Sheriff Ramsey has led the fight to have the problem corrected. The State said yes. However, need 2 years to draft and another 2 to get the money.

John C. Potter died sunday morning. Age 81. He was pedaling his bicycle through the cross walk at Key Plaza. A car struck him.

Syracuse/North Carolina State at 12:20 today. I was going to watch at Jack Flats. Changed my mind. Will try to get it here at home. Syracuse a 14 point underdog.

Man of La Mancha. The Impossible Dream. Miguel de Cervantes magnificent book Don Quixote rewritten to become a famous Broadway musical and movie.

Cervantes was Spanish having been born September 29, 1547 in Madrid. His life adventurous on occasion.

At one point, he was captured by Barbary pirates and imprisoned in Algiers for 5 years. Historians believe he formulated the idea for Don Quixote while so imprisoned. Recall the long tall staircase leading to the dungeon.

Don Quixote the story of a mad knight. A penniless man striving to live by the ideals of the past.

I saw Man of La Mancha three times on Broadway. Each show with a different lead. The movie, many times.

Enjoy your day!

SYLVANUS JOHNSON…..AFRICAN AMERICAN TREATMENT YESTERDAY AND TODAY

A story of white man’s justice as regards blacks in 1897.

The event took place in Key West. Representative of justice at the time for people of color throughout the South.

It was June 1897. Sylvanus Johnson resided in Key West. An African-American. A United States citizen. Johnson was accused of raping a white woman.

He was brought to trial immediately. The rape charge a capital crime. Death the expected sentence, if convicted.

Johnson was assigned counsel. He could not afford one on his own. A kangaroo court and an all white jury decided his fate. The judge a good old boy. He would not permit Johnson’s attorney to cross examine witnesses.

A lynch mob formed during the trial. Daytime outside the court house. Night time, outside the jail. The mob wanted white man’s justice immediately. Hang him!

Blacks formed outside the court house by day and jail by night to protect Johnson.

A confrontation.

The Sheriff panicked. Stood his ground, but knew he needed help to keep Johnson safe from the lynch mob. Asked the Governor for assistance. The Governor viewed the situation as a black insurrection. He immediately asked President McKinley for federal troops. McKinley considered the matter not worthy of assistance.

A local reporter described the African-Americans as a “tough negro element.” Portrayed them as troublemakers.

Johnson was convicted. Took the jury one hour forty minutes.

When the verdict was announced, Johnson turned to the jury and said, “If God was black and came before this jury you would find him guilty. You may take my black body, but you cannot harm my innocent soul.”

Johnson was hung within a matter of days.

There is a reason why I recall the Johnson story. It has to do with Irma and retrospectively Katrina.

African-Americans have come a long way since Johnson’s days. Not far enough, however. They have equality in name. Not in fact.

FEMA had tents erected in the public parking area behind the Key West fire station on Simonton. A place for people to seek and receive governmental assistance. I noted the people applying were all persons of color. Tan. Blacks, Cubans, etc. No whites.

Saturday evening, I drove down Duval. Somewhere in the middle of Duval was a FEMA truck. It was handing out food packages. All the people waiting for the packages were black. No tans,  no whites.

Katrina had similarities. Blacks ended up in the huge sports arena. Nary a white.

My point is African-Americans and other persons of color have come a long way since 1897. Not enough, however. Equality and opportunity not yet fully theirs.

How much longer must these people wait?

Understand what I have written here and you will understand why we continue to have turmoil in the streets involving blacks and whites.

There was a concert in Mallory Square over the weekend. A locals event. To celebrate survival and exhibit the community will come back. A huge crowd in attendance whooping it up in Key West fashion.

My yesterday quiet. Worked with Sloan in the morning. Under the weather the rest of the day. Heavy sweating and a runny nose. Stayed in bed. This morning, I feel fine.

Comcast has finally completed its responsibilities. Late last night, I got back wi-fi and hard line.

Like being reborn! Computer, wi-fi and hard line all at one time!

Consistent with most positions he takes, Trump is totally off base as regards the NFL. He fails to realize that freedom of speech includes spitting, urinating, defecating, burning, and dragging through he dirt the American flag. Constitutionally guaranteed free speech.

The United States has survived over 200 years recognizing the right.

Trump understands neither the history of this country or the Constitution. He prefers standing before a huge American flag Patton style denouncing the NFL and its players. Shouting words he is most famous for…..You’re fired!

I feel good this blog has returned to normalcy. Irma is behind us, except for recovery.

Tonight Louis will be at Aqua for Dueling Bartenders. I suspect many others will also.

Enjoy your day!