HEART OF AMERICA

The heart of America was represented in the Chart Room last night. The very spirit and essence. Family businesses.

One, the Bair family. Ohio people. Have owned and operated Bair’s Concessions, Inc. for 60 years. Three generations. Business headquartered in Lancaster, Ohio.

Bair’s Concessions provides food services to traveling carnivals. Hot dogs, cotton candy, etc. They move around as the carnivals do. Bair’s has its own staff, vehicles, equipment, etc.

Hard workers. The season six months. No time off.

Key personnel include this generation’s parents Brent and Nikki, their son Trent and his wife Annie.

The family spends 3 of the other six months annually in Key West resting up and enjoying.

Met them through the blog. Annie and Nikki regular readers. Love ’em! Bought Irma and Me, also.

John told me Annie had been in and out of the Chart Room for two weeks looking for me. She and mother in law Nikki wanted to meet, Annie wanted her book signed.

The Bair men quiet. The Bair ladies talkative. Vivacious women.

The other family business involved Phil. From Milford, Connecticut. Phil here with Christina for Don and Chris’ wedding. Don’s company and Phil’s do business together.

Phil has a home in Tuscany.

I have no further information re Phil and Christina. We were seated at the round table with Don and Chris. The wedding was primary conversation. The Chart Room noisy. And I was on my way to one drink too many.

Fortunately, Phil and Christina will be here for the wedding. I will probably see them tonight at a pre-wedding party. Definitely at the wedding saturday night.

At the bar was the new love of my life, Morgan. John’s lady. A hug, a kiss and great conversation.

Ted from Wampsville still in Key West. We have to get a dinner in.

His friend Ken with him. Ken from Canastota. Both small towns in central New York. Thirty miles from my home town Utica.

Chatted a bit about onions. Canastota is the onion capital of the world.

When Anna would drive me around rural Novara, we were surrounded by rice fields. As far as the eye could see in every direction. Same in Canastota, except they are onion fields.

I left the wedding group. Had enough for the evening. Headed to Tavern ‘n Town for dinner. Lamb chops. That’s all.

Lynda and Bob Frechette came in for dinner. Two of the loveliest people in Key West. Friends. I enjoyed my coffee with them. We chatted about things going on in Key West.

Some of the Key West roads are in abominable shape. Depressions, not holes. Come upon you suddenly, however. I hit one hard the other day. Something broke under the car.

George at Zip Automotive does my repair work. Dependable and reasonable. I dropped the car off to George yesterday. He drove me home. Later in the day he returned to deliver the car back. Need a part. Has to come from Miami. Three days wait. No problem. Car can be driven.

Zip Automotive is on Maloney Avenue on Stock Island. Three or four doors up from Roostica.

George a working man. Owns the garage. His hands and clothes coated in grease. Fiftyish. A conservative. Knows what he is talking about. Especially, numbers. Better than me. Loves Trump.

We are diametrically opposed politically. Love talking with him!

Today, a Louis day. A haircut, manicure and pedicure. With a lunch in between at Sandy’s cafe. Cuban cheese toast with tomato and a large Cuban coffee. A favorite meal.

Today, World Water Day. Purpose to raise awareness re water scarcity, how to preserve it, and how to use it safely.

W. H. Auden said, “Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.”

Enjoy your day!

 

 

CORPORAL PUNISHMENT FOR PARTICIPATING IN NATIONAL SCHOOL WALKOUT

Corporal punishment for school students is alive and well in 15 states. Would you believe? Bend over the desk and get your ass paddled!

Arkansas a state permitting corporal punishment. Came to my attention as a result of National School Walkout Day. Involved the Arkansas Greenbrier Public School. Greenbrier is located in an ultra conservative area.

Three students opted to participate in National Walkout Day. Only 3. They were vocally insulted and degraded by their fellow students. Two among the smartest in their class. The 3 consisting of both genders.

They left school and sat on a bench on school grounds for 17 minutes. They were told to return to class or face punishment. They opted to remain for the 17 minutes.

They were directed to the principal’s office upon reentry. They were given a choice as to punishment. Corporal punishment or a 2 day suspension. The punishments offered dictated by school board and school policy. The 3 agreed to corporal punishment. Two swats by a paddle on their derrieres.

Their parents were advised of the punishment prior to it being inflicted.

I consider the use of corporal punishment barbaric. In this case, the use of violence on 3 students who were protesting violence. A state sanctioning it and the parents agreeing to it some form of insanity in this day and age.

I admire the 3 protesters. They followed their consciences and took their punishment. They will go far in life.

St. Patrick’s Day did not turn out as anticipated. No corned beef and cabbage. Neither in a restaurant or as a take out. Restaurants too busy for take out. Terri fell eliminating going out to a restaurant.

Bear follows Terri everywhere. Always at her feet. While at home, he somehow got between her legs and she went down. Her head and knees came in contact with the tile floor. Ok, but sore.

Bear lay next to her on the floor crying.

Bear is 14 weeks old today. Getting big! Very big! We are solid friends. He has taken to me. I was seated on the couch most of the time. He was next to me, with me, etc.

Terri into dogs in her past life. Bear is already trained in certain respects. Upon command, he sits, lays down, offers his paw, and high fives. Except, the high fives are both paws.

We ended up ordering from Sandy’s Cafe. They deliver. A Cuban meal for 3 under $20. I had my favorite, Cuban cheese toast with tomato and a cup of Cuban coffee.

Bear and I watched most of the Kentucky/Buffalo game together. Buffalo has a better team each year. This year, the best so far. Though an underdog, I thought they might upset Kentucky. I was wrong. Kentucky killed them.

This afternoon at 2:40 on CBS, Syracuse/Michigan State. Syracuse the underdog once again.

I hope to watch the game and then hurry over to Kate Miano’s Gardens. Early Sunday evening always a fun time there. An added reason tonight. Terri is singing.

At some point, I have to shop. The refrigerator totally lacking in food. All I had yesterday before the Cuban sandwich at Donna and Terri’s was a cup of tea and 4 slices of bacon. No wonder I am losing weight!

For a month, Diana Millikan has been forwarding me information gathered from The Jews of Key West. Author Key West’s Arlo Haskell. When we met for dinner recently, she brought her copy of the book for me to glance over.

Diana thought the book was terrific. She was correct.

It has been announced that The Jews of Key West has received the 2017 Florida Book Award.

Trump is impressed by dictators. Perhaps evidencing a desire on his part to become one.

The Philippines and China have a drug problem. It was overwhelming at one point. No longer. Duterte and Xi kill drug dealers. With little or no attention payed to judicial process. Duterte has them shot on the street.

Both men came to this kill them outright approach based on a simple rationale. They were executing a person for killing one person. Drug dealers ultimately are responsible for the deaths of thousands. Justification enough. Kill them, too!

Trump has advised he likes the approach. He has promised a plan to deal with drug dealers this week. The kill them all approach, I suspect.

Opioids are killing 115 plus persons a day in the U.S.  Most manufactured by American pharmaceutical companies. A few pharmaceutical CEO’s should be indicted for producing these killers of hundreds of thousands of our people. Everyone agrees the problem is at a crisis stage.

Pharma Company-1 makes Fentanyl Spray. Bad stuff. Addictive. Fifty to a hundred times stronger than morphine.

Two Pharma employees and 5 doctors were recently arrested in New York. Pharma was sponsoring educational programs. Doctors were invited to speak for which they received exorbitant fees. A pre-condition to the invitation was that the doctors had to be big prescribers of Fentanyl Spray. The fee received based on the number of prescriptions for the Fentanyl Spray a doctor wrote.

Doctors were entertained lavishly to jump on board. A Pharma representative greeted several at a New York strip club. Pharma paid $4,100 for a private room, alcoholic drinks, and lap dances.

I do not agree with Trump’s thoughts re making the death penalty applicable to drug dealers. A step too far. If he does however, he should add drug company CEO’s who produce a product contributing to the opioid crisis.

Fair is fair.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

 

 

 

HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Belongs to the Irish. For this day alone, everyone is Irish.

Years ago, I did the Duval Crawl on St. Patrick’s Day. Drank green beer. Pissed green. Whooped it up.

No more. Time has caught up with me.

I look forward however to a good meal of corned beef and cabbage. Will do so with Donna and Terri.

Reservations generally required. Even with them, difficult to be seated timely. This year we are playing it smart. Take out from Shanna Key.

Parades a big deal this day. The only time I marched was when I was in college in New York City. I was in the Air Force ROTC. We marched in perfect precision up Fifth Avenue. A sharp eyes right as we passed St. Patrick’s Cathedral where the Cardinal sat.

Interestingly, the first St. Patrick’s Day parade was not in Ireland. It was in New York City in 1762. As early as then there already was a large contingency of Irish living in New York.

Let me share with you an old Irish blessing: “May your troubles be less, your blessings be more, and nothing but happiness come through your door.”

Yesterday, a party at a lovely home on the water in Sugarloaf. Hosts Anita and Tom. Great company and food. A magnificent setting sun.

Watched Syracuse defeat TCU last night 57-52. Another squeaker.

Next game sunday against Michigan State. CBS at 2:40 pm. Syracuse the underdog once again.

Big week ahead. Folks coming in.

Today or tomorrow, Don and Chris. Their wedding next saturday at the Hyatt. I see a week of partying ahead. Liver abuse time!

Tomorrow, Tom and Fran Dixon from Buffalo. Recently returned from a trip to Italy. Fran will be bringing me frozen sauce with meatballs, sausage and pork. If I am lucky, home made pasta. Tom and Fran excellent company.

I mentioned earlier this week that long time Key West artist Jon “Tosh” McIntosh had passed on. This weekend’s Key West Citizen has an Editorial Page “cartoon” honoring Tosh. Tosh was the Editorial Page cartoonist for 20 years.

We have bad leaders in Washington. Whose fault? Ours.

Leaders rise from the people. We elect them. Ergo, we are complicit in the fact that our President and Congress are bad or have gone bad.

All cause and effect.

We live in a time where power has gone mad. Two occurrences in the last 24 hours proof. The firing of Andrew McCabe and Trump suing Stoney Daniels for $20 million.

This morning’s news tells us that Russia has found its way into our power grid. The computers, etc. that control electricity, etc. By the push of a button, Putin can shut the U.S. down. Place us in immediate danger. Our nuclear weapons and other defense items work off electricity.

A President’s first obligation is to protect the people. Trump is failing/has failed. First, by his reluctance to acknowledge and do something about Russia’s intrusion into the 2016 election. Now the danger of Russia turning off the U.S.’s power grid.

I am old school. I believe people should stay married, children should live with two parents, etc. I am one of the divorced. My wife divorced me after 52 years. Ouch!

I mention divorce because it has been announced Donald Trump, Jr and his wife Vanessa are divorcing. Apparently her idea.

Divorce is a lifer changer. I feel sorry for both of them and their children.

Donald Jr. may find additional aggravation from Mueller as a result. Vanessa might decide to reveal whatever she knows which might be adverse to her husband. Though certain laws might bar such testimony by her because of marriage, it would not bar her from sharing any information she has with regard to Donald Sr.

A woman scorned thing.

Have we become a society where there is no shame? Michael Flynn is Trump’s former National Security Adviser who plead guilty several months ago to lying to the FBI.  He has opted to take a deal, is providing information to Mueller, and agreed to testify against Trump if it becomes necessary.

Flynn was recently in California. He campaigned with and spoke on behalf of the Republican candidate who is running against Congresswoman Maxine Waters.

Flynn was selling out America on a cell phone on inauguration day while Trump was being sworn in. Flynn seated several rows from Trump.

No one seems to care about character any more. For sure, Flynn, the Republican candidate he was speaking for, and the crowd that gave him a rousing cheer.

I am not sure why. Yesterday’s readership doubled. It happens occasionally. It had to be one of two blogs I wrote.

Enjoy your day.

 

WOLKOWSKY DID IT AGAIN…..NIXON AND TRUMAN AT PIER HOUSE 1969

The father of modern Key West is David Wolkowsky. Ninety eight and still going strong.

David built the Pier House. Its beginnings 1968. Nothing but mud where it presently stands. He started with a 50 unit motel. Called it the Pier House Motel.

David knew everyone. Persons of prominence came to stay at his motel. Two United States Presidents at one time in 1969.

I was at the Chart Room last night. John showed me a photo on his cell phone of the two Presidents and their wives. He had received the photo earlier in the day from Tim. Tim and his wife live with David and assist him with his everyday living.

Seated at a piano playing was Richard Nixon. Standing behind him, Nixon’s wife Pat, Harry Truman and Bess. It appears the picture was taken by David. A note written on the photo said: “To David Wolkowsky. The view at the Pier House-the greatest.” Signed: “Richard Nixon.”

A piece of memorabilia.

My Wampsville friend and former Court Clerk Ted was to join me for dinner last night. He called after I was sitting waiting for him for an hour to report he could not make it. He either was sick or met a lady. I hope the latter.

Met John from northern New Jersey at the bar. Nice guy. We chatted about the glories of the Jersey beaches.

I was hungry. No Ted. Called Catherine. Asked if she wanted to feed me. No problem. I hurried over and partook of all kinds of delicious cheeses. Even got to watch a great movie. The one which received this year’s Academy Award as Best Picture. The Shape Of Water. Miss it not! Absolutely fantastic!

The writer had to be extremely talented. I have never seen a movie with so many surprising scenes. The unexpected every few minutes. Great writing!

Tonight at 9:40, Syracuse/TCU. TCU a 4 point favorite.

My day yesterday began with a noon doctor visit with my primary care physician, Dr. Norris. To review my blood and urine test results.

God bless! Everything good.

More importantly, my weight. When I was in last week for my annual physical, I had lost 24 pounds. One week later, 2 more. Total loss to date 26 pounds. Love it!

I suspect my home scale is broke. It has not moved in 7 weeks. Always shows a 20 pound loss. My heart doctor’s machine showed a 22 pound loss 2 weeks ago.

Time to get a new scale.

Blood pressure 110/80. Wowie!

Health increasingly important as one gets older.

The Cuban Coffee Queen is like 50 feet from Dr. Norris’ office. Stopped for lunch. Enjoyed Cuban cheese toast with tomato and a large hot Cuban coffee. I know, I cheated. Cuban bread made with pork lard. Milk in the Cuban coffee. I felt I was entitled.

Spring breakers all over Key West. Well behaved.

It seems every year, the spring breakers look younger to me. Makes sense. As I am one year older each year, they would of necessity look younger. Kids!

Key West a place where adults can be children again.

The foot race for all ages has been scheduled. The Cow Key Bridge Race. April 15.

The bridge is 300 feet long, the length of the race. It has been dubbed a zero K race. Designed for “athletes” who don’t want to wake up early or break a sweat. Over 1,000 will participate. Most costumed.

How we value things sometimes does not make sense. Seventeen were killed at Douglas High School. The students reacted and are reacting. Washington not.

This past week a dog was made to ride in a United luggage bin. The one above the passenger seat. The dog died. Within 48 hours, legislation was filed in the U.S. Senate to make sure a dog would never again be placed in a bin where he/she could die.

It would appear we value dogs more than children.

Trump and his minions are slowly turning our country to one like Germany was in the 1930’s.

Night time in  Delano, California. ICE looking for a particular Mexican to arrest and deport. Saw a Mexican couple getting into a SUV. The man looked like the one they sought.

As ICE approached, the couple panicked and took off. ICE gave chase. The SUV turned over. The couple died. The couple parents of 6 children.

Turned out the couple were illegals. Further turned out the man was not who ICE was seeking.

I appreciate ICE is doing its job as directed by superiors. Such does not make what they are doing correct.

The ICE of today are the Gestapo of yesterday. Our government is moving in the wrong direction. Many support Trump and believe in him. As did the Germans with Hitler.

The madness has to stop. America wake up! If not, in the end everyone will suffer including Trump’s followers.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

BEGINNING OF THE END

 

There is a quaintness to Key West. A contributing factor is the height of our homes and buildings. In modern times limited to 25 feet.

A special election was held yesterday to permit an increase in the building height to 40 feet. The turnout was small. Only 16 percent of the population. It passed!

Surprising.

The permission is limited to a one time construction. A proposed affordable housing development on Stock Island. A 2.62 acre city owned parcel.

Permit it once, it will happen again. Human nature being what it is. The next time a developer wants to do it, he will use the affordable housing complex as justification for permitting another 40 foot structure.

Key West residents have fought developers for years on the issue. No one desired high rises. None want to turn Key West into a Miami, Fort Lauderdale or Naples.

Guaranteed 20 years from now, Key West will be lined with high rise condos.

Spent my yesterday preparing last night’s podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.

I believe we are tired of listening to Trump items all day every day. There are other things going on in the world.

I devoted a considerable portion of last night’s show to other things. Some touched on Trump. Very little, however. My thrust was to talk about things not involving the daily chaos Trump imposes on us.

I spoke about civil disobedience, religion dying, robots in the news (especially Flippy the hamburger tossing robot), and the Miramar SWAT team suspended for rushing over to Douglas High School to help without first getting permission from a Miramar superior officer.

The evening a good change of pace.

A well liked Key Wester died monday evening. Jon “Tosh” Mc Intosh. Tosh was 70 years old. An exceptional artist. Always a smile, always a hello.

Another star in the sky.

Drivers beware. For your own good.

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Department announced a special program between now and the end of the St. Patrick’s Day weekend: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. Part of a national effort to reduce drunk driving.

Be especially careful on US 1. Let someone else drive if you have had one too many.

It is a few minutes after 10 in the morning at the moment.  High school students all over the east walked out of their schools at 10. In support of National School Walkout Day. In support of gun safety. To present a force that ultimately will compel Washington and the States to change gun laws for the better.

The walkout is 17 minutes in honor of the 17 killed at Douglas High School.

The students hope to accomplish what adults have not. They just might. They fear nothing. Are politely vocal. Cannot be bullshitted. Will soon be voters.

A group arrived in Washington and will walk to the White House at 10. I am not sure the President is there. He was in California last night.

Trump lacks balls. He would never meet with them.

Students will walk out as the clock hits 10 in their parts of the country.

The walkout is organized. The group that arranged the women’s marches have been assisting them.

Weather continues to be cold. Sixty three last night. Froze!

Fortunately, the air conditioning people arrived this morning. A whole new air conditioning/heating unit is being put in. Tonight will be wonderful!

I have a 5:30 Sons and Daughters of Italy dinner and business meeting tonight. Then home. At 9:20, Syracuse and Arizona State meet in one of the first games of the NCAA Tournament. The Vegas Line has Syracuse a 1.5 point underdog.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

SPRING BREAK STORY

Spring break was not for me during my college days. Who could afford it!

My education however did provide many “spring breaks” world wide later in life.

Several years ago, I experienced a sort of spring break. Reported the story in my blog at the time. An amusing episode.

This has been spring break week in Key West. It brought a Key West spring break experience to mind. Several years ago, a couple were visiting. We were out on Duval one night. Took them to Irish Kevin’s. A young people’s place. This old man especially liked it because the young ladies were often induced to take to the stage and expose their breasts.

The place was crowded with spring breakers. My friends my age. We worked our way to the bar and ordered drinks. The college students were pleasant. They engaged us in conversation. One asked what we were doing in Key West during spring break? What were we doing in Irish Kevin’s?

I lied. I did not tell them about the bare breasts. Instead, I responded, “We’re retired senior citizens who returned to college to get our degrees…..Decided we should do spring break, also!”

We were the heroes of the night! Could not buy a drink. Spent three hours with the kids having fun. Just college students hanging out together.

Another good sunday yesterday.

Spent the afternoon watching the PGA golf tournament. Tiger Woods was playing. His best performance in recent years!

He came in second. One stroke behind. His putting failed him. Otherwise, he would have won by several strokes.

The man who went years without missing a putt under 5 feet, missed a few yesterday. Two from 5 feet. Two more from 2-3 feet. His age? He is 42. Or, does he need to work at it more?

Interestingly, he sunk 2 or 3 putts from the 20 foot range.

Later in the afternoon to Hot Dog Church. Pastor Lauri as usual presiding. George, Art, Donna, Terri, and Bear already at the bar.

Glad I went! Met two former Syracuse University people.

First, Stacey Veeder. She took the empty seat at the bar next to me. My last name sounded familiar to her. Not from Key West. Where? From the recesses of her mind. She spent most of her career working in administration at Syracuse University. I was active with the University during certain of her years.

She was married. To a man. Surprised me. Hot Dog Church is a lesbian gathering. I was there by special invitation.

Married if I recall correctly 37 years. To Steve Wexler. Steve was a professor at the Syracuse College of Law for 21 years. Beginning in 1979.

She telephoned Steve to come over so we could meet. We did for a short time. We had not met during his teaching years. I graduated in 1960. However, I was a member and then chairman of the Law School Board of Visitors for many years. There was much we could talk about.

Hopefully, I will run into Stacey and Steve tonight at Dueling Bartenders.

Terri sings tonight at Dueling Bartenders. Tom, Rick and Terri will blow the walls out with their powerful renditions of yesterday tunes.

Speaking of Syracuse, the team made it to the NCAA Tournament. The listing announced last night. Sixty eight teams invited. Syracuse #68. Who cares? We made it! That’s enough!

I was surprised. Still maintain we do not belong. God was good however and snuck us in.

He will be even better if He permits us to make it to the Final Four.

Dinner last night was at Donna and Terri’s. George, Art and I enjoyed Chinese take out with the ladies.

For the past two years, I have frequently written about robots. Always lecturing they are coming and we are not preparing for them.

Flippy was introduced to Pasadena hamburger lovers as Flippy the Burger Flipping Robot recently. He can cook 2,000 burgers a day. He was introduced by the Cali Group that operates several hundred fast food burger places.

Flippy lasted two days. He did his job. The support staff did not. They could not. I refer to the humans who prepare the patties for the grill and those who pile on lettuce and other fixins’.

The humans could not keep up with Flippy.

Flippy is on leave while experts look the situation over to decide how humans have to function to keep up with Flippy.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt communicated with citizens via a method which became known as a fireside chat. No television back then. Only radio. The President would speak to the nation in comforting tones and keep them updated on what was happening. His first  fireside chat on this day in 1933. A time of serious economic distress. Thirty percent unemployment. People scared.

Trump’s rallies are Roosevelt’s fireside chats. In form only. Not substance.

Trump rants and raves, demeans, criticizes, swears, etc. Far from Presidential. Not in the style of real leaders like Roosevelt, Kennedy, Johnson and Reagan.

His bully tough guy performances clear evidence the man lacks Presidential qualities.

Irma and Me doing well. I am impressed with the sales. My first book was a disaster sales wise. Those of you who have not yet ordered the book, please do so. You will enjoy!

Irma and Me is available through Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com.

Enjoy your day!

GREAT BLIZZARD of 1888

Happy Sunday!

Three mighty northeasters have hit the country in the past two weeks. So many so close together highly unusual. Snowfalls extremely heavy. Temperatures below zero. Travel next to impossible.

One of the most famous and treacherous winter storms was the Great Blizzard of 1888. Four hundred died. Snowfall 55 inches. Wind gusts up to 85 miles per hour.

New York City was exceptionally hard hit. Snow drifts reaching to the second floor of some buildings. Walking next to impossible. Many who did attempt to walk from one place to another died on the way.

One of those who collapsed in a snow drift and died was Roscoe Conkling. Fifty eight years old at the time. A recognized public figure.

I write of Conkling because he got his political start in my hometown Utica. Mayor 1858-1859. A Lincoln Republican, he ultimately was elected to the U.S. Senate where he served 14 years.

Twice he was asked to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Grant wanted to nominate him Chief Justice. He refused the nomination. A few years later, he accepted a nomination to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. The Senate confirmed him. Following confirmation, he changed his mind and refused to be sworn in.

We are in the middle of the flu season. The Keys have not been hit too bad. There are two strains out there. The one running rampant in California the bad one. Hundreds have died.

The worst flu epidemic in history began in 1918. Lasted two years.

The first cases of the 1918 flu epidemic were reported at Fort Riley, Kansas. One hundred one the first day. By the end of the summer, the flu had spread world wide. Twenty to forty million died. Six hundred seventy five thousand in the United States alone.

Researchers at Japan’s Yokohama National University believe they are on the path to a cure for baldness. The source of the cure was discovered in oil used to cook McDonald french fries.

The chemical dimethypolysiloxane. Big word! It has been found to grow hair follicles on mice.

Diana Millikan and I finally got together last night.

Diana is an excellent researcher. We have been collaborating on a book for two years. The History of Prostitution in Key West. Goes back as far as 1650. We are stuck. I say we need more research. Diana says there is no more to be found. She says write. I keep pushing her. Whether the book will evolve, I do not know.

Diana recently finished reading The History of Jews in Key West. The book excited her. She wanted me to see it. Brought it with her last night. I was aware of much contained in the book based on other researches I have completed re Key West. Jews played a significant role in the development of Key West. The book Diana brought to me was the first work I have seen incorporating the history in one 200 plus page volume.

We enjoyed drinks at the Chart Room first. Then to Mary Ellen’s for dinner. Diana had never been.

I forgot this was Spring Break week. The young people were all over Mary Ellen’s. No problem. We chatted with some while enjoying toasted cheese sandwiches and tomato soup.

The excitement of youth is overwhelming. To be that young again!

Got home in time to watch most of the Virginia/North Carolina game. The final one of the ACC Tournament. Virginia won 73-61. Though North Carolina is an excellent team, Virginia a couple of steps better this year. Virginia is ranked #1 nationally, has won 31 games and lost only 2.

Judgment time tonight. The NCAA Tournament listings will be announced. I have no anticipation that Syracuse will be one of them. It was not our season.

Enjoy your Sunday!

THOMAS PAINE, THOMAS JEFFERSON, ST. AUGUSTINE

 

Civil disobedience rumbles through our society today. One example is what is going on in California. Attorney General Sessions has brought the might of the federal government down on California via a federal lawsuit. Legal and public opposition to the suit guaranteed.

People do not like being imposed upon by their government. The California issue has to do with sanctuary cities. California is a sanctuary state. It will not assist the federal government in rounding up, etc. certain illegal immigrants for deportation.

Many cities throughout the nation have labeled themselves sanctuary cities. All considering the federal government off base in seeking a city’s assistance to arrest and deport persons they do not believe should be deported.

The people speaking.

The lawsuit is weak substantively. The President forgot there is another branch of government called Congress. Trump’s signature on a piece of paper not enough to bring the power of the federal government down on a sanctuary state or cities without Congressional passage of a bill first approving what the federal government considers should be done with illegal immigrants.

Trump’s legal beagles in a hurry to do their master’s bidding, failed once again to do things properly. The legal analysis I leave for another day. Today, I want to approach the issue of civil disobedience from the philosophical perspective.

Thomas Paine said, “These are the times that try men’s souls.”

Thomas Jefferson, “If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so.”

St. Augustine, ” That which is not just seems to be no law at all.”

An unjust law is a perversion of the law. Law is supposed to stop bad things from happening. Not make them happen.

People have refused to obey/support laws wrong in their essence many times in the past. Significant ones include the Boston Tea Party, Gandhi, and the Birmingham protest marchers.

It all turns on morality. Sessions suit is immoral. Its basis immoral. The people of California are right in saying no to it.

My yesterday began at 8:45 in the morning with a visit to Dr. Norris. My intern. My first annual physical with him.

Lose weight and you make your doctor’s day! His records indicated I have lost 24 pounds since my last visit. Love doctor scales. I am still stuck at 20 on mine.

Everything ok. Blood and urine results next thursday.

The Cuban Coffee House is next door to his offices. I had planned on Cuban toast and coffee following the examination. No way! The line too long. No question season is here.

Decided on Harpoon Harry’s for a real breakfast. Lucky to get a seat at the counter. Packed. People waiting to be seated.

I enjoyed ham, eggs and hash browns. Yes, I cheated. Felt I was entitled. Skipped the toast, however.

Last night, the Chart Room. With Catherine.

Wonderful people.

Met Charlene and Chris from the Chicago area. Charlene reads this blog! I am excited and appreciative each time I run into some one who does.

Charlene is a State Attorney. She prosecutes. Chris an attorney, also. Works with local government in Joliet.

Both past visitors to Key West.

Charlene told me she had ordered Irma and Me. I loved her even more.

Hope to see them both again before they leave.

Gayla and Jeff were sitting at the bar. We started talking. From San Antonia. Home of the Spurs! They sounded like die hard fans. As I am with Syracuse.

Frequent Key West visitors. Two grown children.

Gayla stopped by before she left to tell me she had ordered Irma and Me on her cell phone.

Love these women!

Irma and Me has achieved a degree of popularity. It has been out 3 months now. Selling. I appreciate it. Not from a money perspective. Rather the recognition it provides. I am humbled people read what I wrote.

Finally, Holly. Holly of Kevin and Holly. Holly alone. Kevin at home in Key West.

Kevin’s scooter flipped a few months ago. Kevin spent 24 days in intensive care. Beat up badly. He is on the mend. Not totally yet. I hope to run into them both tonight at the Chart Room.

Today, a Louis one. A haircut with Lori at noon. Cuban cheese toast and coffee at Sandy’s Cafe afterward. A manicure with Tammy at 5. Then, the Chart Room.

Oh Syracuse, my Syracuse! Like Mighty Casey, struck out last night. Syracuse lost to North Carolina 78-59. The evening before, Syracuse beat Wake Forest 73-64.

The ACC Tournament is over for Syracuse. The NCAA next week. Will Syracuse make the big dance? I doubt it. A win against North Carolina might have permitted it. The team came up one game short at the end I fear.

We will find out for certain Sunday night.

Last but not least, tomorrow at 6 Kate Miano’s campaign kickoff party. Everyone go! At the beautiful Gardens. Free food and drink. See old friends and make new ones!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

POEMS ARE MADE BY FOOLS LIKE ME, BUT ONLY EMALYN MERCER CAN SAVE A TREE

Change a couple of words and Joyce Kilmer’s famous lines from Trees becomes a well deserved tribute to Key West’s Emalyn Mercer. She saved two huge tongue trees.

It was early morning. Emalyn still in her pajamas. She heard the buzzsaws. Buzzsaws cutting down trees on her block. The trees in front of her mother’s home at 701 Catherine Street appeared in line to be cut down.

Emily ran out and tried to climb the tree. Her husband brought a ladder. Up she went. A sign appeared…..Save the Trees.

Emalyn perched on the tree for two hours. The buzzsaws went away. Probably to return.

Emalyn, a hero.

Key West has a Tree Commission that orders trees native to Key West to be cut down and replaced with a tree not native to the area. It appears the goal of the Tree Commission is to have similar trees throughout Key West. The approach not Key West nor consistent with a community that has represented within its borders every type person. Diversity called for. Not what the Tree Commission is doing.

Harry Truman is another Key West hero, though his exploits occurred elsewhere.

Key West loves Harry Truman. Truman loved Key West. He vacationed here a total of 175 days covering 11 separate trips.

Yesterday marked the day in 1948 when Truman won election to the Presidency over Thomas Dewey. An unexpected result.

The media was convinced Dewey would trounce Truman. Truman was not a popular President.

It appeared the nation was against him.

Truman opted to do a whistle stop campaign across the country. He stopped at communities big and small. He spoke to those gathered from the back platform of the last car.

I recall his stop in Utica. I was in the eighth grade. Two of my buddies and I rode our bicycles to the railroad station to hear the President. He had already started his talk.

The place was packed. People all over the tracks, etc. listening. We could neither see nor hear the President from the back of the crowd.

We did the necessary. We rolled our bikes right up in front of the platform from which Truman was speaking. There was about five feet separating the President’s car and crowd.

Truman’s talk was the same at each stop. The country was having problems because of a do nothing Congress. Do nothing Congress his verbiage.

We had the best seats in town! We were excited to be there and proud to have been able to be that close to a President of the United States.

Truman had all kinds of insulting occurrences during the campaign. He was not getting Presidential respect from many. One example his whistle stop train traveling somewhere in the middle of nowhere. The train stopped. The conductor told Truman the train would go no further till his bill with the railroad company was paid. It was grossly in default.

Truman dug into his pockets and went around asking others to do so also. Some wrote big checks. The bill was paid and Truman was able to continue.

An insult! As Rodney Dangerfield was wont to say…..Truman was getting no respect.

The nation went to bed election night believing Dewey had won. It took longer in those days to count ballots.

The Chicago Tribune had a late night edition on the streets. Its headline…..Dewey Defeats Truman.

H. V. Kaltenborn was a famous American radio commentator. He went on the air advising that Dewey had defeated Truman.

Both media types wrong. When the nation woke the next morning, Truman had won by more than 2 million votes.

That same morning at a press conference, Truman was asked what he was going to do next. His response…..I’m going to Key West on vacation!

I frequently complain about the tourist operation of bicycles and scooters on Key West streets. A danger to the operators and to others. Car drivers and pedestrians.

Yesterday, another accident involving a tourist driving his scooter in an improper manner.

A 41 year old Louisiana visitor was operating a scooter at the intersection of White and Union. He was passing cars on the right. Went into the intersection and struck a broadside a car making a left turn. The tourist died.

He would not have had he stayed in line with the vehicles to the front of him. Scooter and bicycle operators are required to follow the same laws. One being no passing on the right.

Enjoy your day!

BUBBA POLITICS AGAIN

Small town, small town politics. Favoritism sneaks into governmental decisions.

In Key West it is referred to as the bubba system. Friends taking care of friends.

The City Commission had before it a proposed increase in cab licenses. There have been 72 since 1992. Amazing! No need for an increase in all those years! Twenty four years!

Uber and Lyft came into the discussion. The City Commission’s position remains the same…..Wait till State officials rule on the matter. Called passing the buck. Additionally, the State may never rule on the issue.

One of the Commissioners came up with the excuse that Uber and Lyft would put too many cars on streets already congested. Bullshit! One of the purposes is to help relieve congestion. Encourage people to leave cars at home.

There is a saying the blind cannot see. In this instance, the Commission is not blind. Merely arbitrary. Protecting the 72 licenses as they have since 1992.

Which brings me directly into my Rotary installment for today. Installment 14.

In  1932, the Key West Chief of Police and Monroe County Sheriff were at odds. Harmony lacking between the two departments.

At the September 29, 1932 Rotary luncheon meeting, Police Chief Ivan Elwood and Sheriff Cleveland Niles were invited.

The problem being too much crime in Key West. The Police Department could not handle the volume. The Sheriff was reluctant to help.

Only one police officer on duty nights. To guard the entire City. Too much for one officer. Gangs were in vogue and breaking into homes and businesses on a frequent basis.

The Rotary pushed the Police Chief and Sheriff to work together. Join forces to combat the Key West crime wave.

Judge Jefferson B. Browne gave his opinion as to why Key West was experiencing so much lawlessness. Too many laws on the books. Covering minor things. Local emphasis had been placed on minor wrongdoings. So much so that there was no time for serious crime attention.

Key West is never without amusing occurrences. Probably what makes the community so popular.

The Key West Citizen reported this morning in its Today In Keys History section an interesting court proceeding. This day in 1993. A Court hearing for a retrial. Which was ultimately denied.

Rocky was a two year old 5 pound chihuahua who impregnated Camella, an 80 pound rottweiler.

The Court ordered Rocky’s owners to pay Camella’s owners $2,567.50 in damages.

An expensive sexual interlude.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…..” Opening words to Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities.

On this day in 1859, the final installment of the novel was published. The last of three installments. Makes one believe the book was published in three parts.

Finally, yes. Initially, no.

Dickens published a weekly literary work. All The Year Round. He initially published A Tale of Two Cities in the weekly. Forty five chapters over a period of 31 weeks.

Interesting.

Tonight my podcast show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. Topics will naturally include Trump’s election and the protests following. Other topics include Gingrich’s wanting a new House of Representatives Committee on Un-American Activities (shades of Joe Mc Carthy), and Necons, 9/11 involved persons and Goldman Sachs people on Team Trump.

Also, Nestles granted double water extraction 120 miles from Flint, schools offering counseling to students disturbed by Trump election, robots will soon take 2/3s of all jobs in the developing world, and more.

Again, 9 this evening. A fast moving revealing half hour. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!