…..ONLY GOD CAN MAKE A TREE

In my other life as an attorney, I had a case where my client’s big old tree was hanging over the neighbor’s property, roots causing his driveway to heave a bit, etc.

The neighbor wanted the tree removed. The heaving driveway was a good argument. My client was destined to lose.

Counsel were standing alone before the Bench. No jury. Merely argument.

Opposing counsel made a good argument why the tree should come down. I knew before hand such would be the case.

When preparing opposing papers, I recalled Joyce Kilmer’s Trees. The closing stanza…..Poems are made by fools like me, / But only God can make a tree.

The lines were the basis of my argument. With three changes. I deleted the word “Poems” and replaced it with “Arguments.” I deleted “God” and replaced it with “Judge.” I deleted the word “make” and replaced it with “save.”

The new wording rhymed the same however…..Arguments are made by fools like me, / But only a Judge can save a tree.

I won. The tree survived. Joyce Kilmer the one who actually saved the tree.

Why Joyce Kilmer’s Trees this morning.

There is a 100 year old mahogany tree on Simonton. Across from the Gato Building. A huge branch hangs over the street. The branch has never been a problem. Until recently. The over hanging branch and a truck came into contact.

The truck had its roof ripped off. The truck the legal height. The branch illegal. Too low. No problem for 100 years. Now a problem. Cost Key West or its insurance company $9,000 for repairs to the truck.

Key West has a Tree Commission. The Commission wanted to cut the tree down. The public went crazy. Shouted a loud no!

The tree was saved. Legally it should have been cut down. However the public won out. A sign is going to be erected warning of the low hanging branch.

A popular result. One that will not prevent another accident from occurring, however. The City’s liability will then be two-fold.

The Kiss-In last night in front of the Custom House was a gigantic success. As reflected in the large front page photo in this morning’s Key West Citizen. The kissing looked good. Hundreds. Wish I could have been there. With a lady to kiss, of course.

My blog talk radio show was not aired last night. I could not connect with the broadcasting studio. Sloan tried also. She failed. We assume some technical problem at the studio end. I should know this morning. My apologies to all who tried to listen.

Had I known there would be technical difficulties, I would have been at the Kiss-In and later at Lynda Frechette’s Aqua Idol.

Dee called yesterday and invited me to Valentine’s Day dinner as her guest. The podcast show obviously interfered. We are scheduled to do it tonight. I look forward to being wined and dined by a much younger lady.

The Battleship Maine was blown up in Havana Harbor this date in 1898. Two hundred sixty American sailors killed.

In March, a U.S. Navy Court of Inquiry was held in Key West. At the newly constructed Custom House. Then a federal building.

One month later in April, the U.S. invaded Cuba. The Spanish-American War began.

Loud, proud, patriotic marching music is always tied to John Phillip Sousa.  Tunes like Stars and Stripes Forever.

Sousa and his family arrived this date in 1925 from Havana. They checked into the Casa Marina where they were to spend a few days vacationing.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

LA TE DA

I had dinner last night at La Te Da. Crispy Duck. The best duck in Key West! Enjoyed it at the outside bar.

The wind blew big time all day. However not felt in Key West. The buildings and trees cut the wind. It was comfortable sitting at the outside bar.

I have been either visiting or living in Key West more than 25 years. It was on my second trip I discovered La Te Da. In those days, my former wife and I would spend the afternoon at the beach, change into fresh clothes behind the car, and head out for cocktails.

La Te Da was a discovery!

There was a small enclosed bar on the second floor. An intimate setting. On the pool side of the building. Back from the front of the building about 10 feet. I would place it square in the middle of the down stairs bar.

Great place for cocktails! Free hor d’oeuvres. Most hot. Served with a small plate, clothe napkin and heavy weighted silverware. The company excellent. Mostly gays. Always a fun time.

With one of the renovations, that small upstairs bar was removed.

How La Te Da acquired its name is interesting.

In 1868, the Ten Years War ended. A war between the Cuban people and Spain. Spain was exercising colonial rule over Cuba. The Cubans lost the war.

Many Cubans left the island. Seeking political freedom and economic opportunity. Key West became home to many of the Cuban exiles. The influx continued through the 1870s, 1880s and into the 1890s.

Jose Marti was a popular Cuban hero/leader. He would frequently visit Key West to raise money and invite the exiles to join him in overthrowing Spain.

The Cuban Key Westers loved Marti. Each Marti visit began the same way. Five thousand would gather to greet him at the boat landing . Always a band and Cuban and American flags. The group then would parade down Duval to La Te Da with Marti in tow.

Present day La Te Da at the time was owned by Teodoro Perez, a wealthy cigar factory owner and friend of Marti. Marti would speak to the crowd from the second floor front porch of Perez’s home.

Cubans came to call the porch Marti’s Terrace. In Spanish, La Terraza de Marti. The Spanish version was shortened to La Te Da.

Marti and a number of his Cuban followers invaded Cuba in 1895. Marti was killed in the first battle. Three years later, the Battleship Maine was blown up in Havana harbor marking the beginning of the Spanish-American War.

Yesterday’s weather is today’s. Wind still blowing strong, trees bending, white caps on top of a fast moving ocean.

I spent most of yesterday preparing for tonight’s blog talk radio show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. One half hour. Fast moving interesting subjects. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Topics tonight include problems facing the returning House of Representatives this week, Monsanto buying college professors, German bishops and U.S. bishops differing at the Synod, some revelations in this week’s KONK Life column Lincoln The Man, the story of a 2 year old homeless boy found after midnight barefoot and alone in a Philadelphia park, and more.

Wonder of wonders! Words from a musical whose name escapes me. Words that fit what I am about to write.

It was revealed on Morning Joe this morning that Donald Trump in a book published 19 months before 9/11 advised that the U.S. was in danger of a terrorist attack. He further stated it would be led by an Osama bin Laden. The book: The America We Deserve.

Perhaps I have not fairly considered Trump.

Enjoy your day!