A KEY WEST GHOST STORY…..MARIA VALDEZ DE GUTSENS

I mentioned the Gray Man ghost yesterday. The reaction amazing. People love ghost stories!

Ergo, I opted to begin today’s blog with a Key West ghost story. The ghost’s name…..Maria Valdez de Gutsens.

Maria was the administrator of the Mercedes Charity Hospital in Key West. Her title Matron. She ran the hospital for 23 years.

The hospital had previously been the Gato home. Gato the famous cigar producer. He built the home originally where Bayview Park stands today. Overlooking the water. The end of Key West. New Town not even a thought in anyone’s mind.

When his wife died, he sold the home. It was bought and moved to what is now 1209 Virginia Street. A couple of doors down from White Street.

The home became the hospital. The hospital closed in 1942.

Maria was loved by all. People referred to her as an Angel of Mercy.

The former hospital today is an apartment house. It is believed Maria still walks the halls, rooms and porches. There have been several reports of having seen her.

One report was by a man in bed sleeping. His wife next to him. He woke feeling someone holding his wrist. He swears it was Maria, with a man standing next to her. She was taking the pulse of the man in bed. He turned to wake his wife. Maria and her companion disappeared.

Last year when I was looking for an apartment to rent, the Gato House had one available. Checked it out. Looked ok. I recalled Maria’s story. Could not rent the apartment. If Maria and I met up, I would not have been able to handle it.

I am a sort of believer in ghosts.

Alley is on her school’s volleyball team. I went to watch her play at 5. I was impressed. By her and her team mates.

Ally was proud to be playing. You could see it in her face.

Her team won both games easily.

Poppa fell! I was seated in the middle half way up the bleachers. I went to leave after the game. Most were staying for a second game that had been scheduled. Maneuvering around those seated, I tripped/lost my balance and went down!

Times when one feels like an asshole.

I was concerned I had broken my left leg or hip. I was bleeding. No way I was going to stay there and get help. I got myself up, down the bleachers and out the building. My sore leg and hip last night are without pain today. The bleeding I took care of when I got home.

The next game, I will sit at the end of a row on an aisle.

Prior to Ally’s game, I spent the afternoon preparing for my podcast show in the evening. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. I spent half the show talking about Michael and how Irma had impacted my feelings for those who will go through hell in northern Florida tonight.

The Sons and Daughters of Italy do not meet over the summer. Monthly meeting begin anew this evening. I look forward to the meeting. The members are fun people. There is a social hour first. Food and drink. Then a business meeting.

So much happened news wise yesterday and in the past few days. All worthy of mention. I have decided to refer to the occurrences as Hot News.

Michael on the way. At the moment a category 4. Hits landfall around 6 this evening. God help those who opted to remain.

Trump’s friend Saudi Arabia misbehaving. Turkey in cahoots. Saudi journalist Jamal Kheshoggi is a U.S. resident and Washington Post contributor. He was a critic of current Saudi policies.

It is believed he was assassinated. His body then dismembered. Trump has yet to make mention of the incident.

Recently, there was a failed attempt to assassinate Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro. One of individuals thought to be involved was  political opponent Fernando Alban.

Alban was in custody. Being held on the 10th floor of the Bolivian Intelligence Service. He went out the 10th floor window. The claim, he was a suicide. His supporters say bullshit. He was thrown out!

Trump has yet to comment on this issue, also.

Trump at an Iowa rally last night. He mentioned Diane Feinstein. The crowd yelled…..Lock her up! Trump smiled. Never said no, not the American way.

The same thing happened when Hillary was mentioned during the campaign.

Trump encourages violence with his silence.

Nikki Haley resigned yesterday as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. She and Trump enjoyed a love relationship when her resignation was announced. Both said all kinds of nice things about each other.

The first Cabinet person to leave and not get condemned by Trump. Why did she get a free ride?

So much for Hot News.

I continue to live and learn.

We all buy ice cream in super markets. A favorite American dessert. Keep it in the freezer and pull it out when the desire hits. Which unfortunately is often.

Brands like Breyer’s, Ben and Jerry’s, Klondike, Good Humor and Popsicle.

Guess what? They are all owned by the same company. Unilever. A British-Dutch transnational consumer goods company.

America’s first robot farm has begun operation this week. The robots replace humans. The robots described as “incredibly intelligent machines.”

The company involved is Iron Ox. A hot entity. Las year, outside money people invested in excess of $10 billion.

It is claimed the robot farm can turn out 30 times more produce than a traditional farm.

The robot farm is a hot item because the farming industry is facing a serious labor shortage and there is a growing pressure to produce more crops.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

SESSIONS’ NAMESAKE GENERAL BEAUREGARD FIRED ON FORT SUMTER

On this day in 1861, the Civil War began. The Confederates bombarded Fort Sumter. By the next morning, Union forces were beaten and surrendered the Fort.

The Confederate forces were led by General P.G.T. Beauregard.

Beauregard a lovely name of the old South.

Attorney General Sessions’ full name is Jefferson Beauregard Sessions. Sessions is named after his father whose parents gave him Beauregard as a middle name.

Not all Confederates supported the plan to bombard Fort Sumter. One in opposition was Confederate Secretary of State Robert Toombs. Toombs wrote Confederate President Jefferson Davis: “You will only strike a hornet’s nest. Legions now quiet will swarm out and sting us to death. It is unnecessary. It puts us in the wrong. It is fatal.”

Toombs thought negotiation could resolve any problems and that the Union would accept secession of the Southern states. He also believed the manufacturing power of the North would ultimately bury the agrarian South.

I mention Toombs’ words because they are similar to the purported words of the Japanese Admiral who lead the assault on Pearl Harbor. Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto is claimed to have said, “I fear all we have done is to awake a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”

Many believe Kumamoto so spoke. Historians disagree. His words actually film dialogue. The Admiral and his quote part of the movies Tora, Tora, Tora and Pearl Harbor.

Last night began with the Sons and Daughters of Italy dinner meeting.

One of the members Mac cooked. Chicken marsala and pasta. Delicious!

Mac has played a special part in the lives of Robert and Lisa. For seven years, I engaged Robert to play Santa Claus for them.

A great Santa Claus!

Robert and Ally are now too old to believe in Santa Claus. I intend to have Mac join Robert, Ally and me at some point for lunch.

A notable experience in the making! How many kids have the opportunity to meet Santa Claus years later when they no longer believe?

Headed over to the Chart Room afterwards. John bartending. David and another at the bar. The other Robert Coburn. Robert one of the other authors at the books signing two days ago.

We had never met before two days ago. We greeted each other last night like long lost friends.

Robert started writing five years ago as I did. He also is 82. I am one month older. He will be 83 in August and I in July.

We had a good time.

Robert a snowbird. His home in California’s Carmel. A lovely place. He is on a plane this morning to Carmel. He returns to Key West in June.

The Key West Citizen runs a daily column titled Citizens Voice. A place where people can complain/compliment. Mostly complaints.

A local apparently wanted to reflect on Key West sins. He wrote that as he ran a stop sign on his bicycle, he saw a man using a leaf blower to remove iguanas and chickens from a native tree he was about to cut down. The tree was located near the amphitheater where he had earlier heard the Navy loudspeaker booming. All this made him think about the snowbirds in illegal short term rentals.

Judge Robert Cical. An example of a life destroyed.

Judge Cical a jurist on New York’s Suffolk County District Court.

He became addicted to his 23 year old female neighbor’s dirty panties. He was breaking into her next door house to steal them. He was caught. Some of the panties in his pocket.

He has been arrested. His defense…..an urge made him do it.

Sexual predilections common today with many elected officials. Beginning with the President and working down.

I have revived my video Key West Lou Live on Facebook. Did my second show this morning. Discussed the new toy of the rich. Private railroad cars.

Join me at your convenience. Available any time of the day. Two-three minutes of interesting chat.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR IN CONCERT…..OUTSTANDING

NBC did itself proud last night. Its presentation of Jesus Christ Superstar In Concert. The most recent interpretation of the rock opera which opened on Broadway in 1971.

Some of the comments describing last night’s show: Absolutely incredible…..Electrifying…..Emotional climax…..A resurrection of the inner spirit…..The end miraculous.

I saw the Broadway hit in 1972. The movie in 1973. The TV version last night. Each unique in its own way. Each pleasing, Last night’s perhaps the best.

The scaffold setting added another and different dimension to the show.

A perfect ending to Easter Sunday.

My Easter Sunday began at 9. Breakfast with Lisa and family.

I started a tradition when my children were small. An Easter egg hunt. Outside or inside depending on the weather. We often still had snow in upstate New York on Easter.

When the kids got too old, my wife and I did the hunt. Sometimes, my parents. Everyone whooping it up on the sidelines.

Then came grandchildren. The tradition continued.

Lisa continues the tradition with her children. At 13 and 12, they are too old to hunt for Easter eggs and baskets. Today, items teenagers can use. A new cellphone, items of clothing, etc.

Breakfast was at 9 at the conclusion of the hunt. Still fun.

I noticed Robert was now a young man when I saw him a few days ago.

Ally was a young lady yesterday. Dressed beautifully. Hair done. Carried herself with a bearing. As contrasted with a year ago when she did not care her hair was messy, her clothes equally messy, her conversation less than brilliant. Yesterday, she spoke with the adults like an adult.

Which means I am getting older. I grow as they grow. More an old man each year.

I rose at my usual 6 am  yesterday. Spent two hours researching for yesterday’s blog. Did not write it at the time. Showered and hustled over to Lisa’s.

Returned home at 12:30. Did the blog. Published late. Finished the blog at 2:30.

The balance of the day was one of rest.

Saturday evening I was out. The Sons and Daughters of Italy had a fundraiser for the organization’s scholarship fund. A bocce evening.

This was the second year for the bocce event. Last year considered a success because although for a first time, the club made money.

Saturday night better than last year. Last year, only 3 courts used. Saturday, all 7. The overflow walking around, watching the bocce games, enjoying sausage sandwiches washed down with beer or wine.

Most of those playing bocce were novices. They come to learn. Two experienced bocce members on each court teaching the participants the ropes.

Many worked to make the event a success. Bob Farrow headed the group. He and his helpers deserve much credit.

I tire easily. Saturday night made me feel tired sunday afternoon. I spent the rest of the day in bed. Watched Ben Hur and The Ten Commandments. What would we have done without  Charlton Heston?

Then at 8, the magnificence of Jesus Christ Superstar!

For basketball enthusiasts, tonight the night of nights! The final game of the NCAA tournament. The championship Final Four game. The best of the best in men’s collegiate basketball to be determined.

Michigan/Villanova. At 9:20.

Villanova favored by 6.5 points. If Villanova sinks 3’s as the team did saturday night, Michigan does not stand a chance. On the other hand, I question whether Villanova can shoot that well two games in a row. Add to the mix that Michigan has reached this point with a stellar defense.

Should be a hell of a game!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

STATIONS OF THE CROSS REINACTED

Christ lived, died, and was resurrected.

Catholics believe He was crucified yesterday, lies entombed in a rock cave with a large rock blocking the entrance today, and will rise from the dead tomorrow.

Tomorrow being Easter Sunday.

Current writings by sociologists and political scientists suggest religion is dying. I see it in my Catholic religion. Churches closing, Catholic schools disappearing, very few women entering the nunnery, priests a problem unto themselves, etc.

Then an occurrence. One that makes me question the premise that religion is dying.

Yesterday in Portland at the Sacred Heart/St. Dominic Parish Church, the Stations of the Cross  were performed. Part of Good Friday activities.

Normally, the Stations of the Cross involve a priest and two altar boys/girls going to each of the 14 Stations and reciting what occurred.

The Portland Church enacted the 14 Stations.

Participants were dressed in the garb of 33 AD. Roman soldiers in dramatic red and gold uniforms. An estimated 100 parishioners in the dress of 33 AD. The cross was large and wood. There even was a replica of a stone burial chamber.

The place Jerusalem. The Stations beginning with Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane. Ending with Him being laid to rest in a tomb of stone.

The parish an immigrant one. The people poor. They come to the United States from other parts of the world. They bring their religion with them. The Stations were recited in French, Spanish and English.

Makes me wonder whether I have been correct in assuming religion is dying. The experts write it is. Universities teach it.

Could it be that only those that need God believe in Him? Did we in the U.S. and other advanced countries become too intelligent and too affluent forgetting Him?

I do not know. But how religion is handled in the Portland Church causes me to stop and think.

Seder last night. With Donna’s family and friends. At her daughter Stacey’s home. Thirty two in all. From 3 to 82. Guess who was 82?

I have been celebrating Seder with them for many years. Always a warm family event.

My dinner companion was Terri. We sat next to each other. Her eyes failing more rapidly than anticipated.

Love the lady!

A unique experience at lunch time. Stopped in Sandy’s Cafe. There was my grandson Robert and a lady friend. A girl friend. The two enjoying lunch.

Robert handled introductions well. Was not flustered. His lady friend a bit intimidated.

Robert has gone to another level in my mind. No longer a boy. He is a young man. He will be 14 in two months, in high school in August, college in 4 years.

It was only yesterday Robert was born. Lisa insisted I remain for the birth. Her husband holding one leg up and I the other. Yelling at Lisa to push while Lisa was responding with a loud I can’t do this!

Three hours later Robert was on a helicopter to Miami Children’s Hospital. He was born with cancer of the liver. The tumor larger than his liver. Two major surgeries the first 8 days of his life.

God is good. All is well today. And…..He has a girl friend!

The Sons and Daughters of Italy have a scholarship fund. One of their fundraisers is a bocce event. Tonight from 5:30-9:30. At the bocce courts across from the White Street Pier.

Come join us. I will be cooking sausage and hots dogs and teaching bocce to novices.

A fun evening. Cost $20 for adults and $10 for children.

I will be rushing home right after the event. The Final Four begins tonight. I should be able to catch the last game.

World population grows. The scientists tell us at some point there will not be enough food to feed everyone. It is therefore important that we develop alternative ways to grow/create foods. The laboratories of the world become important for this.

Zen Honeycutt published an interesting article on the problem in ECO Watch 3/27/18. The work was limited to Monsanto, glyphosate, herbicides, and pesticides.

I sometimes hate Monsanto for what they do. Other times, I recognize the cause of feeding the world’s peoples is an overwhelming task not without pitfalls.

Glyphosate is bad stuff found in Monsanto’s Roundup. It is also a part of other herbicides and pesticides.

Glyphosate has been discovered in certain wines and beers world wide. Some in popular U.S. brands. All U.S. brands are moving rapidly to change over and use other herbicides and pesticides.

The article makes reference to a Save the Children 2013 report. The report indicated the U.S. has 50 percent more infant deaths on day one of life than all other developed countries involved. The question raised was whether such was due to the widespread use of herbicides and pesticides like Roundup.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

MAJOR RELIGIOUS HOLIDAYS BACK TO BACK

Jewish and Christian religions overlap this weekend. Beginning today.

Tonight, the beginning of Passover. Seder.

Seder is a Jewish ritual feast. Marks the beginning of Passover. Celebrated with a huge dinner. A family and friends event. The meal begins with the story of the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt.

The narrative of the exodus is called Haggadah. Special blessings and rituals are involved. Commentaries from the Talmud are read. A special Passover soup served. Followed by the eating of symbolic foods, wine drinking, eating matza, and reclining in celebration of freedom.

A big deal!

Followed by a meal of brisket.

I am invited yearly to celebrate Seder with Donna and her family. Tonight, at her daughter Stacey’s home. Thirty to forty people.

Donna’s children and grandchildren return to Key West each year to celebrate the holiday with Donna. Mandatory. No one misses it.

Donna has spent the past three days cooking all day. Her children help. A lot of work. A labor of love for them.

Today is also Good Friday. The day Jesus was crucified. Hung on a cross. For three hours till dead.

Christians world wide mourn his death today. I know of the day from my Catholic upbringing.

Traditionally, Jesus is hung on the cross at noon. Three hours of agony follow till He expires.

Fasting and Church services today. Part of the services include the Stations of the Cross.

Passover Seder and Good Friday coincide this year. Not necessarily so every year. Though both occur close in time.

I had a difficult experience in Church one year during the three hours.

I went to a Catholic high school. Sisters of Charity taught us. I was a freshman. Fourteen years old.  The three hours was mandatory for students.

Seated in my row two seats from me was one of the nuns. Directly in front of me in the row in front of me was a lovely woman. Early 20’s I would suspect.

A sensuous ass. I could not get my eyes or mind off it for three hours. I had an erection. I was praying to God to make it go down. No help. I feared the nun would see it. Fortunately, she did not.

It was a difficult three hours. My time for pain and suffering.

For some reason, I was tired all day yesterday. I had intended to go to The Studios to hear author Arlo Haskell of The Jews of Key West. He recently received the Florida Book of the Year award for the writing.

Never made it. I spent the day and evening lying around. Dozing on and off.

Feel fine this morning.

I mentioned yesterday that there had been a change in the operational heads of the Key West Citizen. The publisher and controller were let go.

Turns out the scenario was sort of coup. The change took place monday morning. The publisher must have been aware. He did not show up. The controller did. He was escorted off the premises by two police officers. Two police officers were stationed at the Citizen monday and tuesday.

Key West is a giving community. Many organizations award scholarships for college study. I am a member of The Sons and Daughters of Italy. We have a scholarship program.

One of the ways of funding it are special events. Tomorrow night The Sons and Daughters are having a bocce fundraiser. Tried it for the first time last year. Successful. Hopefully will be as successful this year.

One does not have to be a member to attend. Last year, I would estimate 70 percent of the attendees were not members.

The event is from 5:30 to 9:30 at the bocce courts on the ocean at the corner of White Street and Atlantic Boulevard. Cost $20 for adults and $10 for children. Includes food, drink, bocce equipment, and instruction for those who have never played.

I am one of those providing instruction. Did it last year. Many of those playing had never played before. Everyone had a good time.

Interestingly, many of those who attended merely to support a fundraiser subsequently joined The Sons and Daughters. I made several new friends as a result of the event.

In March 1958, Sugar Ray Robinson defeated Carmen Basilio to regain the Middleweight Boxing Championship. Robinson and Basilio held both the Middleweight and Welterweight championships at different times.

Basilio had beaten Robinson to win the Middleweight title. The same title Basilio lost to Robinson that March 1958.

I knew both men incidentally.

I attended Manhattan College in New York City 1953-57. Located at 242 Street and Broadway. Robinson’s mother lived at 238 Street and Broadway.

Whenever Robinson visited his mother, word spread on the campus. It was easy to know. Robinson drove a big pink Cadillac convertible. We would hustle down to 238 street hoping to see the champion.

If successful, Robinson was always quick to smile and say, “Hi, guys!”

Basilio I knew a bit better. A little bit.

Basilio’s home was Canastota, New York. Twenty miles from my home town Utica.

Canastota is well represented in Key West. Many from the area have homes here. I attribute it to onions.

Canastota is the onion capital of the world. Was in 1958 and remains so today. Everyone I meet in Key West from Canastota was or is in the onion business.

Basilio was known in the boxing world as the “Upstate Onion Farmer.”

At some point in time after Basilio and Robinson had been champions, the International Boxing Hall of fame was opened in Canastota. Yearly inductions.

It was at the inductions I got to see and greet Basilio up close. No more than a hello and how are you. Basilio later became physical education director at Syracuse’s Le Moyne College. I ran into him at some college functions when I was active at Syracuse University.

Enjoy your day!

CHILDREN SUFFERING POST IRMA

Who is feeding the children of the Keys post Irma?

Irma came and went 5 months ago on September 10. Things appear better in Key West. Duval booming. Though I suspect the tourist numbers are down. Down based on a fear that Irma’s effects still with us.

Physical damage more obvious as you move up the Keys. Especially from Cudjoe to Marathon. House damage, especially. Small tent cities evident. Cars visible housing whole families.

A food problem exists. Full employment has not returned. Too many businesses still closed because of Irma. Waiting for federal or insurance monies to repair or rebuild.

The food problem most evident with children. The schools have brought it to light.

I became aware via an excellent article in KONK E-Blast and the Key West Citizen editorial, both this morning.

The federal government ceased paying for school meals as of February 1. The kids still line up for food. Say, please charge it. The schools charge. Otherwise, many children would not eat.

The numbers shocking. Four thousand living units in the Keys damaged beyond repair. Prior to Irma, homeless children numbered 150. Now, more than 500.

Since February 1, it has been costing the School District $400 a day to feed the additional homeless and others whose parents have not yet returned to work.

The feds who cut off FEMA funding prohibit school food programs from acquiring debt or using surplus funding. The School Board has to figure out how the monies can be found administratively. In the meantime, donations are coming in to keep the children fed.

Another big evening last night.

Began with the Sons and Daughters of Italy’s scholarship fundraiser. Involved was a silent auction and drawing for a cooked and served Italian dinner for 8.

Free food at the event. Home made by the members. Outstanding! I could not have eaten better anywhere else last night. Dates stuffed with goat cheese wrapped in bacon. Meatballs in sauce. More. All mouth watering.

Blew my diet a bit. Only as to the stuffed dates. Enjoyed two.

Catherine was with me. We went over to Louie’s Backyard afterwards. Sat on the deck outside enjoying a couple of drinks.

I ran into Kate Miano. One of the finest persons in Key West. She told me she decided to run for Mayor. She will win. If she is able to run the City as she does her Gardens Hotel, Key West will benefit big time.

I was pleased and impressed with the announcement by Mueller yesterday that 13 Russians and 3 Russian companies had been indicted for screwing around with our Presidential election. Knocks the legs out of Trump’s claim that the Russians did not. Recall, he said Putin told him he and the Russians had nothing to do with it. He believed Putin.

I switched to FOX News immediately upon learning. Curious as to how FOX would be handling the news. Hannity was on. He seemed out of kilter. Unusual for him. Always damning things not Trump. He was obviously confused. He was suggesting the indictments were serious business and proof the Russians had committed wrong.

A couple of hours later when I returned to FOX, it was obvious Hannity had received other orders. Nothing good re the indictments was coming out of his mouth.

This morning FOX was the same. Three newscasters chatting back and forth. All negative re the indictments, of course. They lack backbone. They also don’t want to lose their pay checks.

I came across a Woodrow Wilson quote. Fits Trump perfectly: “All the extraordinary men I have ever known were chiefly extraordinary in their own estimation.”

Trump visited Parkland last night. Stopped at the hospital. Spoke to two of the injured children. A boy and girl. Focused his statements on first responders and the wonderful job they did. Failed to discuss the shooting itself, guns, and change to our gun laws.

Governor Scott and Senator Rubio were with him. It is reported Rubio spoke to the President emotionally re the impact on local families: ” This is a community and a state that’s in deep pain and they want action to make sure this never happens again.”

Trump replied: ” You can count on it.”

Good luck!

Trump recently submitted his proposed budget. The budget calls for a 30 percent cut to an Education Department grant program that supports safe schools. The budget also slashes public funds for mental health treatment.

The President speaks out of both sides of his mouth.

Seems to be a Trump morning for me.

Another Trump story involving the ladies. If this paragraph were titled, it would read something like Same Place, Same Week, Same Bungalow, Lake Tahoe.

It was reported that at the same 2006 golf tournament at Lake Tahoe where the President purportedly had a sexual liaison with porn star Stormy Daniels, he had another. She revealed herself yesterday. Her name Karen McDougal. 1998 Playboy Playmate of the Year. She received $150,000. Daniels settled for $130,000.

And no one seems to care. Morality out the window as far as this President is concerned.

Syracuse/Miami at noon. Vegas line has Miami a 6 point favorite. Syracuse needs the win. I will be watching.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TRUMP IMPOTENT

Trump is impotent in three regards: (1) Putin, (2) guns, and (3) respect for women.

Think about it.

Information is leaking out re Nickolas Cruz the Parkland High School murderer.

ABC News reported Cruz told authorities he heard voices in his head to carry out the massacre. The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law claims Cruz was affiliated with a white nationalistic militia and that he received paramilitary training with them.

I couldn’t wait to get to the Chart Room last night. Enjoy the banter that fills the room. Spent some time chatting with bartender friend John and several customers.

Then to Tavern ‘n Town for dinner. I was back on the diet after one day of cheating. I am on Atkins. High protein, low carb. Enjoyed a rack of lamb. Just lamb. No vegetables, nothing.

Met an interesting woman at the bar. Yvonnie Ametin. She has resided in Key West 20 years, has three children, a home on Olivia Street, and is involved with social media.

We got into social media a bit. She helps people market via the internet. I found her very knowledgeable.

Interestingly, Yvonnie’s children go to the same Montessori as Robert and Ally. Her oldest daughter and Ally are probably in the same class.

The Side Door at Aqua will be fun tonight. The Sons and Daughters of Italy are having a fundraiser. The monies raised to go for scholarships for locals moving on to college.

There will be a silent auction. Also, a drawing. Tickets have been sold the past few months to add monies to the scholarship fund. The winner to receive an Italian dinner for 8 at his/her home. Everything provided, including dishes, silverware, clean up, etc.

Food free. A cash bar.

The event begins at 5:30.

Chopin was a sick man when he played his last concert in Paris this day in 1848. He would die of tuberculosis 18 months later at age 39.

Chopin is one of the musical greats. Both as composer and concert pianist.

Words describing his piano talent sensitive and descriptive. One wrote that his piano playing was “…..like the sighings of a flower, the whisper of the clouds…..the murmur of the stars.” Another, “…..the  slyph of the piano…..attached to this mortal world by the merest touch of a finger and nourished by a dream from on high.”

Sad days followed by notable ones. The Bataan Death Marched is ever seared in the minds of Americans and Filipinos. In 1942, the Japanese captured Bataan. The U.S.’s last stronghold in the Philippines.

Americans and Filipinos were force marched 55 miles. Along the way, 600 Americans and 5,000 Filipinos died. From the extreme brutality of the Japanese. They were starved, beaten, kicked, and bayoneted.

Americans and Filipinos recaptured Bataan three years later on this day in 1945.

No death march for the Japanese captured. American and Filipino values different from that of the enemy.

The $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels may turn into a problem for Trump and Michael Cohen. Cohen was Trump’s attorney and claims he paid the $130,000 settlement monies to Stormy Daniels out of his own pocket.

Hard to believe. Does not make sense. Lawyers don’t do that.

The Federal Election Commission is looking into the matter. The issue as to whether the $130,000 payment constituted an in kind political contribution.

If anything should come of this, it would be like Al Capone going to jail for tax evasion instead of the more popular criminal activity he may have been engaged in.

My Syracuse. Having difficulty winning this season. Needs to win all or one less than all of its remaining games to make the NCAA Tournament.

Syracuse plays Miami tomorrow at noon.

Enjoy your day!

 

CHILDREN DIE

Another school shooting. Yesterday, Parkland High School. Located in Broward County Florida. The 19th school shooting  this year in the United States. Today, only February 15. Means 19 school shootings in 46 days. Seventeen killed yesterday. More injured.

The blame lies primarily with the NRA and our elected politicians. The politicos are owned by the NRA.

Children die because politicians are interested in keeping their seats.

Sick!

The extremist NRA lobbies. Elected officials are subservient to them because of the power and money the NRA has. Both of which could be used to defeat them if they dared to oppose the NRA.

Our elected representatives today reflect man at his worst. Money being more important than lives.

The past year saw politicians with a new line following a mass shooting. A line I would guarantee has to have been formulated by the NRA. When asked what the politician thought, what could be done, etc.,  the response always is not the time to talk about it.

If not immediately following a mass shooting, when?

Appreciate the amount of NRA money being spent on Congressional people alone. The New York Times set forth such information on October 4, 2017. I take from the article the top three US Senators who received the most in contributions from the NRA.

John Mc Cain #1. $7,700,000. Richard Burr #2. $6,900,000. Ray Blunt #3. $4,500,000.

The numbers say it all. The truth lies within them.

Big night yesterday. Actually started in the afternoon.

The Custom House first for the St. Valentine’s Day mass kiss-in. My date was Catherine. The kiss-in scheduled precisely for 6pm. One thousand expected. Five hundred couples kissing.

We got there at 4:30. The crowd still small. We knew we could not stay till 6 because of another event. We sat on the steps and chatted till 5:15.

Free rum beginning at 5. We did not get any. By 5, the line was long. The Spectrelles singing. Couples kissing when ever they wanted. The woman slung over on the man’s arm.

We left, but not without kissing. Our first. Immediately turned into 3 or 4. Led to more kissing later in the evening. Made me wonder why we had not done this on previous dates.

Then to the Sons and Daughters of Italy St. Valentine’s day dinner and meeting.

The dinner outstanding. Lasagna! Followed by a huge heart shaped chocolate cake covered deep in frosting.

I cheated. Only the third time since November 27. The night before, I craved cake. Any kind. I am on a low carb diet. The craving was satisfied last night. The lasagna an added bonus.

A night cap was in order. We were off to the Chart Room. John bartending.

Lovely Nikki cried out…..Key West Lou! We had never met before. Nikki is from Atlanta. Reads this blog every day. Thank you, Nikki!

Nikki and her husband Russ are from Atlanta. Vacationing. Have been doing so in Key West annually for many years. They were married on Smathers Beach in 2007.

Nikki is a paralegal. Husband Russ, a marina manager.

They were enjoying Key West with Atlanta friends Tatiana and Doug.

Permit an observation. Both Nikki and Tatiana extremely beautiful women.

I found Tatiana’s name different. Special. She explained she was Brazilian. Tatiana however not Brazilian. Tatiana was born sometime around the 1980 Winter Olympics. There was a Russian skater named Tatiana that impressed her mother. Ergo, the name Tatiana.

Tatiana is a nurse practitioner. Proud of her work and the responsibility that goes with it.

Doug into transportation logistics.

Four wonderful people! Hope I run into them again.

There is a new musical in Key West. Undying Love. Tickets hard to come by.

Described as an off beat musical. It is the story of Key West’s Count Carl von Cosel whose love Elena Milagro de Hoyos had died. He stole her body from her grave. Kept Elena with him for several years till discovered. In his bed. Preserved with wax.

Sick!

Made into a musical, however. And from all I hear, a tremendous success.

The Battleship Maine blew up in Havana harbor this day in 1898. Two hundred sixty American sailors killed. Led to the Spanish American War.

Key West has two connections to the tragedy.

The first involves many of the sailors who died. They are interred in the Key West Cemetery. Duly honored every year.

The other is the location of the formal hearing to determine the cause of the explosion. The US Court of Naval Inquiry met at what is today’s Custom House. Then a newly constructed federal building.

The stock market crashed last week. I predicted it. Though not an economist, being 82 I have lived through several and could sense this one coming.

I am going to stick my neck out. The crash is not yet complete. There will be another this year, worse.

Enjoy your day!

 

CATHERINE…..WHERE ARE YOU?

Catherine…..Where are you? An interesting introduction.

I met Catherine last night at the Sons and Daughters of Italy Christmas party. We were seated next to each other for dinner. Enjoyed our time together.

At the end, she entered www.keywestlou.com on her phone. I asked for her e-mail. She put it on my phone. Easier she thought. I wanted to send her a piece to read.

This morning, I tried to send. From memory. Did not work. When Catherine returned my cell phone to me, I forgot to hit SAVE.

Ergo, Catherine…..Where are you? Please e-mail me at louispetrone@gmail.com. I will then have your e-mail and will be able to send you the material I thought you might be interested in.

The party was wonderful. What else could be expected from a group of partying Italians.

Our table interesting.

Besides Catherine, met Elizabeth. An engineer. She warmed my heart when she told me she reads the blog.

Martin and Donatella. Martin a former President of the organization. An entrepreneur. His company operates out of several cities. Donatella Italian born. She recalled my KONK Life articles.

I left early. As the dancing started. Catherine was unable to dance. She had a hip replacement six weeks ago.

Cold last night. Cold during the evening. Cold this morning. I have to find my leather jacket.

The sky was perfect last night as I left the Doubletree. Not a cloud. Stars everywhere.

My first stop this morning is the opticians. Have to get the eye glass problem resolved. Anxious to see well again.

This morning ends the first two weeks of the diet. Atkins. The diet claims a 10 pound loss at the end of the first two weeks. Then 2 pounds a week. Only lost 8. I am disappointed. Every pound  a hard loss. Committed however to staying on the diet.

Tonight will be special. Atkins permits drinking after two weeks. Gin or scotch. No carbs. Gin my drink of choice for 40 years. Look forward to Beefeater on the rocks tonight. I am a man in the desert searching for water.

Moore/Jones Alabama election tomorrow.

On TV this morning, a video was of a group of Alabama seniors. One hundred percent behind Moore. Thought the 16 ladies reporting him all lied. One made mention that 30-40 years ago, Alabama permitted 13 year olds to marry. Another said any parent back then would have been happy if an Assistant District Attorney was meeting their 14 year old daughter at a mall.

Sick, thwarted thinking!

What a difference eighty years make!

Actually eighty one years ago when on this date in 1936 Edward VIII abdicated to marry twice divorced Wallis Simpson. He could not live without the woman he loved.

Parliament would not accept a divorcee as spouse to the King of England.

A different world today. Prince Charles divorced and remarried. Prince Harry soon to marry a divorced lady.

Putin has a reputation of being a ladies’ man. Rarely mentioned. He is numero uno in a totalitarian state.

Oh! Calcutta! opened in New York in 1969. Nudity a significant part of the show. I saw it. Must be frank. Made me a bit uncomfortable at the time. And a prude I am not!

Soon after its opening, Sergi Mikhail, Secretary of Moscow’s Writers Union, described Oh! Calcutta’s nudity as a sign of western decadence. His concern was that Oh! Calcutta’s “bourgeois” thinking was affecting Russian youth.

Sixty two year old Xiong Gaowa is a Chinese barber. No barber shop. He works on the street. A chair on an open thoroughfare. In Chengdu, Sichuan.

He has a specialty. Called blade wash eyes. Runs a straight razor along the inside of a customer’s eyelids. Leaves the customer feeling refreshed and comfortable afterwards.

The process cleans the sebaceous glands running along the inside of the eyelid.

The Chinese medical profession finds nothing wrong with the blade eye wash. As long as the instrument used is sterilized to prevent infection.

I came across an article a few days ago reporting that the Department of Defense (DOD) was going to perform an audit. The first ever. Not a dollar one which is desperately needed. Billions unaccounted for each year.

Rather an audit of material, supplies. Things like ammunition, tanks, planes, etc. An inventory. A big job. Two thousand four hundred auditors to be involved.

I read another article this morning that makes me understand why the audit. Humans must be involved also. The Pentagon has lost 44,000 soldiers. Cannot track them. Have no idea where they are.

The Pentagon lists military under Country Location. The 44,000 are marked Unknown.

The soldiers involved were lost in deployment.

Would you believe?

Enjoy your day!

KEY WEST WEATHER FRIGHTFUL

The weather is frightful. Key West experiencing its first cold spell of the season. Sixty degrees last night. Sixty one degrees at the moment. Today projected a high of 65 and low of 59.

I feel sad for the tourists who are here this week. The cold spell will run through thursday. They ae making the best of it. Buying Key West sweat shirts and hanging out at the bars day and night. Still fun!

When I went out last night, my mind was buzzing with Frank Sinatra’s rendition of Let It Snow. The specific line…..The weather outside is frightful.

We who live here have thin blood. The heat does it. Anything under 74 cold! I appreciate it sounds strange. That is the way it is, however.

I turned on the heat 2:30 this morning. First time in the new house.

The fire alarm went off. For 15 minutes. I did not smell smoke so was not concerned. Small particles of soot came flying out the vents.

Turned heat off. Grabbed an extra blanket. Never got back to sleep. Not caused by the noise, cold, etc. Merely woke and could not get back to sleep.

Terrific!

Made me wish I had a body to sleep next to. Body heat  works.

Someone due here in an hour to check the system out.

My only stop last night the Chart Room. Packed. The weather forcing everyone inside. Everyone having a good time. Noise level roaring.

Shaun bartending. Just Returned from a visit home in Minnesota. Minus 10 degrees. Real cold!!!

On the way out, met Jenn and Holly. Jenn stopped me to say she reads the blog. Makes my heart feel good every time I hear it. I believe Jenn lives in Key West and her friend Holly visiting.

Big party tonight! The Sons and Daughters of Italy Christmas party. At the Doubletree. Last year was my first Christmas party with them. One terrific time!

A few Trump observations.

Yesterday, Obama compared Trump’s actions to those of Hitler. Some commenting today on TV were offended. Open your eyes! The man is! He is authoritarian and totalitarian. Democracy rapidly declining. Troubled waters ahead.

Pakistan supposedly our ally. Friend. Till Trump. Keep in mind, Pakistan is a nuclear nation.

Pakistan announced yesterday that its Air Force had been ordered to shoot down U.S. drones. Pakistan claims the drones are violating Pakistan’s sovereignty.

Yes. The real reason however is that Afghanistan sits next door to Pakistan. U.S. air power flies over Pakistan to get to Afghanistan. When the bombs fall, some fall on the Pakistan side of the border. Killing Pakistanis.

In August, Trump publically spoke harshly of Pakistan.

Pakistan has reached a point many other nations have. The United States cannot be relied on.

UN Under-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman returned recently from North Korea. He opined re North Korea: The “world’s most dangerous security issue, and must be resolved fast and diplomatically to avoid war.”

Trump spoke yesterday in Mississippi. The bastion of black love. Trump paid tribute to the “brave men and women of the civil rights movement.”

What a whore!

Demonstrators nearby carrying signs. One read: “No Trump, no hate, no KKK in the USA.”

Keep up the good work, Mr. President!

Modern day pedophilia did not end with the Catholic Church. It keeps rearing its ugly head.

Recently, Alabama’s Moore.

More recently, the Director of Music Publishing for Walt Disney. John Heely. Sixty eight. He has been with Walt Disney since 1981.

Three minors. One for four years.

A religious man. His Twitter bio reads: “Disney concerts and living to glorify God in all things.”

Enjoy your Sunday!