IRMA EVACUEE REUNION

First stop last night was Tammy. My manicurist.

The woman a charm. A mere 34 years old. Born Vietnam. In the U.S. 14 years. Already a proud U.S. citizen. She and husband Rick owners of a thriving nail business.

Always enjoy my half hour with her. We talk of many things.

Then to the main event. Irma evacuee reunion. Those of us who fled the hurricane and ended up spending 12 days as the “guests” of Jean and Joe Thornton at their Birmingham, Alabama home.

Five of us and three dogs.

We bonded.

Only one failed to make the reunion. Dan. Ann, Haywood, Joanne and her friend Tim, me, and the Thorntons at Alonzo’s.

We drank, ate and overall had a good time. Just as it was in Birmingham those 12 days when we were hiding from Irma.

I wrote Irma and Me based on the evacuee situation. Publisher still has not got it out. Thought it would be available for sale three weeks ago. Still waiting.

Most of us ended up at the Chart Room following Alonzo’s. Packed. Streets empty. The Chart Room overflowing. Tourists. I suspect our group were the only locals.

A stimulating evening for me.

Met Jenni and Spence from West Memphis, Arkansas. A great couple!

Jenni a former history teacher. I liked her right away. Now, a high school librarian. Charming and beautiful. Husband Spence a farmer. Soybeans and rice. The farm 5,500 acres. A corporation. Employs 10.

No strangers to Key West. Visit frequently.

Celebrating Spence’s 38th birthday.

I spent most of the evening talking with Spence. An education! Spence is knee deep in the farm situation, Monsanto, pending tax litigation. All tied together. He and an uncle own the farm. They work hard to keep it in their hands and not have to sell to another entity.

A constant battle. Though not hurting financially, the battle one for survival.

Spence opened my eyes to many things.

An interesting announcement in this morning’s Key West Citizen. KWAHS and the Tennessee Williams Key West Exhibit are merging. The Williams portion will continue operation at 513 Truman Ave.

Tennessee Williams lived 40 plus years of his life on Duncan Street. He authored The Rose Tattoo. During this week in 1954, Hollywood began filming The Rose Tattoo two doors up from Tennessee Williams’ home. Bert Lancaster and Anna Mangani starred. Mangani received the Oscar for Best Actress for her performance.

My daughter Lisa and family live one block in the other direction on Duncan from the Williams home.

I continue to live and learn. A commandant of the U.S. Marines was born in Key West. General Leonard F. Chapman, Jr. Born November 3, 1913. Served as the 24th Commandant of the Marines, 1968-1972.

Ran into Bill from Boston again a couple of nights ago. Would like to run into him again. An interesting person.

We talked college football the first night. I a Syracuse grad. He, Boston college.

The other night he mentioned as we passed a Boston College glory year. Not sure whether 1920 or 1922. Both glory years for Boston!

In 1920, Boston college beat Holy Cross in the season’s final game. Boston went 8-0 that year.

Nineteen twenty two another big Boston College year. Beat Holy Cross 17-13 before a crowd of 54,000. A record for attendance at the time.

Syracuse/Florida State today. Florida State a 6 point favorite. Syracuse could win.

I continue to believe the economic recovery is built on sand. The high market numbers artificially inflated by global central banks. The rich getting richer. the poor, poorer.

A recent study indicated 78 percent of Americans live pay check to pay check. Also, 71 percent are in debt.

Trump left for Asia yesterday. An 11 day trip. He will visit 5 countries.

One is China. Trump is out of his class when it comes to China’s President Xi Jinping.

Trade will be a big issue. China in a much better position than the U.S. as regards trade. If Trump achieves anything, it will be minimal.

An under current in the discussions will be oil and the petrodollar. Way back when, an agreement was entered into where most of the oil trading countries would sell oil using American dollars. A boon for the U.S. Helps keep the value of the American dollar high.

A month ago, Trump thought he was screwing Venezuela’s President Maduro. He sanctioned the hell out of Venezuela. Basically forcing American banks and business persons to stop doing business with Venezuela.

Unfortunately, Trump cannot see beyond his nose. Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reserves. Maduro announced that henceforth Venezuela would not sell its oil based on the American petrodollar. It would sell based on the Chinese petro-yuan.

The first major oil producer to break the age long pact that the American dollar was to be used. China happy. Russia, also. Other countries may follow. The result will be the devaluation of the American dollar.

Such will take place over a number of years.

Good job, Mr. President! As you claim, you are one smart man!

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!

SYRACUSE BEATS #6 FLORIDA STATE

So many matters of importance occurred in the last 24 hours. Trump, immigration/refugee ban, draining the swamp, Peter, Paul and Mary, etc.

For me, the most important was Syracuse defeating Florida State 82-72. Florida State ranked #6, Syracuse unranked. A big victory. Students rushed the floor in excitement.

I was alone watching the game from the comfort of my easy chair. I shouted out a GREAT! at the end of the game. No one heard me. I was like the tree falling in the forest. No one hears it.

Worked on rewriting one chapter in Growing Up Italian. Sunday Dinner. A great family time!

The Sons and Daughters of Italy had a fund raiser yesterday. A bocce fundraiser. Excellent attendance. Many who had never played bocce. I served as teacher to two novice sisters from Little Torch Key.

Who would have thought bocce could serve as a fundraiser? Giorgio did. He is to be complimented.

Cold continues. Sixty three during the evening. The high today only 67. Rain big time off and on. Winds 20-30 mph. White caps visible in the ocean. A gray day expected.

Two Civil War events on tap this week. Described as Living History events.

One in the Palm Garden of the Key West Library. Thursday from 11-3. All kinds of information and artifacts re the Civil War.

The other at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park. Friday and Saturday. Part of Civil War Heritage Days. A mid 1860s encampment.

Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven was published this day in 1845.

Remember Goodnight Irene, If I Had a Hammer, Where Have All the Flowers Gone, and Blowin’ In the Wind?

Peter, Paul and Mary. Hits they sang.

Peter, Paul and Mary did not write the music they sang. They did make the tunes winners, however. Even Bob Dylan benefited. It is said the vocal group made Dylan’s revolution possible. Blowin’ In the Wind was one of them.

Andrew Jackson was our Nation’s first populist President. Trump is a populist President. Trump and many of his followers compare Trump to Jackson.

In 1834, there was a labor dispute. Workers on the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad. The workers were rebelling because of persistent poor working conditions and low pay. The workers consisted of Irish, German, Dutch and blacks.

Jackson sent in federal troops to quell the disturbance. It was the first time a President had ever done so.

Trump has not sent federal troops anywhere. Not yet. He could in the future. Recall this past week his observations re Chicago, carnage, murders, etc. He suggested the Federal government might have to go in if things did not get better. The National Guard?

Trump’s handling of the immigration/refugee situation yesterday reflects a Jackson type mentality. Overbearing, overwhelming.

A further comment re the immigration/refugee order. Seven countries were named. Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Not one terrorist from the seven named nations has ever performed a terrorist act in the United States.

Whereas, Saudi Arabia has. Seventeen or eighteen of the terrorists who perpetrated 9/11 were citizens of Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia also gave us $4 a gallon gasoline.

Saudi Arabia not listed in the order. Oil, money the reasons? Whatever, the Saudi’s have had their heads up our asses for years. One arm around our shoulders, the other in our back pocket.

One more Trump issue.

He claimed during the campaign that he was going to drain the swamp. Get rid of lobbyists who come directly from government and end up working for lobbying groups that require government favors. A five year ban.

Trump’s order refers to administration officials. I do not know what administration officials refers to. Merely his immediate White House staff? Does it extend to Congress and the military?

I did a little digging. Could not come up with the answer.

Congressmen eat big when they move from the hallowed walls of government to working for lobbying groups. Recall Eric Cantor who was defeated in a Republican primary four years ago. He immediately was hired by a lobbying group. Starting salary $3.4 million a year. He did not even finish his term. He resigned his seat soon after the election and went to work in the private sector.

Our generals and admirals likewise benefit. Eisenhower warned us to beware of the military-industrial complex. They hire the retired military at huge dollars who then go back to their still in the service friends and work out contracts generous to the military manufacturer/producer.

Yes, the honeymoon is over. I gave Trump a week before criticizing him. I wanted to wait longer. He is our president. Give him a chance.

I figured three to six months. No way where Trump is concerned. He is a dynamo. He has already done more in his first week than any other President. More does not necessarily mean good, however.

He is not qualified for the position. He is a trouble maker.

I worry.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IT’S COLD

Cold this morning! Surprised me. Normally, I can sense a change in weather before it occurs. Missed this one.

The weather for several weeks has generally been in the 80s by day and mid to high 70s by night. I woke this morning to 67 degrees. The high today is projected at 71. Tonight, the temperature will drop to 63.

I already turned the heat on.

Nights will be cold all week. 62-64 degrees.

Tonight is the Sons and Daughters of Italy’s fundraiser. At the bocce courts. The courts sit on the Atlantic. Long pants and jacket time.

My responsibility tonight is to explain/teach novices the game.

The event opens at 5:30. Stop by and have some fun. Enjoy a beer and hot dog. Meet some great people.

Happy New Year! Asian New Year!

A manicure with Tammy yesterday. Tammy born and raised in Vietnam. In U.S. now 12 years. A U.S. citizen since last year. Proudly so.

Tammy educated me a bit as to the Asian New Year.

Celebration week long. Today, the actual day. She and her family have been celebrating all week long. Party at each other’s homes. Food only. No booze. Everyone must be in their own homes by midnight.

This is the year of the Rooster. Did not understand what that meant.

Today being the for real New Year’s Day, families stay home and do a quiet family day.

Fireworks are to ward off evil spirits. I cannot recall what the paper dragon symbolizes.

Learned something interesting. Vietnamese men are entitled to have two wives. They live together with the husband. Her grandfather and father had two wives.

No way will she permit her husband Rickey to have two wives. He is Vietnamese, also. Tammy, Americanized.

Celebrated Dee’s 60th birthday last night at La Trattoria Oceanside.

La Trattoria Oceanside not one of my favorite places. Last night was only the fifth time in 5 years I have gone there. Dee wanted to go. She likes the place.

My dislike reasons are simple.

They did not have our reservation last night. The third time for me in my five visits over two years. The hostess did not care. We ended up with a shit table.

The service is always slow. To get a drink, place an order, get served. The food not worth the charge.

It will be a long time before I go to La Trattoria Oceanside again.

Everyday, a bit. My rewrite of Growing Up Italian going slowly. This is the fourth rewrite. I do not want to do another. I am pleased with the progress.

Going Live on Facebook not where I want it. For some reason, I continue to appear rigid. I am. Also, I have not worked out the distance factor yet.

I am also screwing up otherwise. I did seven separate shows yesterday. Three got lost. I did not press all the buttons to post. One had no voice. I do not know why.

Hang in there folks! I will get it!

The Women’s International Flag Football Tournament in full swing. In addition to the European nations mentioned yesterday who are participating, there are also teams from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

Syracuse/Florida State at noon. Florida State a three point favorite. I will be watching the game on TV.

The annual Key West Craft Fair this weekend. Bundle up and go to the first three blocks of Whitehead. The show always terrific.

In between the Syracuse game and bocce at 5, I hope to spend a couple of hours with Liz.

As a nation, we are late in doing something about lost jobs. The issue today is not jobs leaving the country. A yesterday issue. Four years from now in the next Presidential campaign, we will be arguing robots and automation. We are always behind.

Enjoy your day!

I HEARD FROM CRETE

This blog has moved into its 11th year. I have made many friends via the blog over the years. World wide. A few I have been fortunate to meet. Others, not. However the level of communication has been sufficient that I feel I know them personally. Like we get together for a drink together now and then.

One “close friend” is Crete’s Jim Brown. Crete is one of the Greek isles.

Jim is a transplant from Great Britain to Crete. A resident of Crete for many years. Married with family. Earns a living by entertaining. A band. His band.

We occasionally chat via Facebook re politics.

I wrote Jim last week concerning Obama’s poor reception while visiting Greece. Seven thousand protested against him, the American flag burned, etc. The media suggested the Communists responsible.

I did not understand. The Communist Party in Greece is negligible. The powerful out of office party is the Nazi Party. Know as the New Dawn.

I wrote Jim re my concerns. He responded.

He does not believe the protests were anti-American. The Greek people are pissed. They like to vent. Need to vent. They are generally upset with the powers to be internationally. They do not believe the rest of the world gave them support in their “war” against Merkel and the Euro Union.

He said I should not be concerned about the American flag being burned. The protesters burned a Greek flag also.

Brown believes Tsipras sold them down the river, that austerity is crippling the Greek people.

The suicide rate has tripled. He writes these are “sad times my friend.”

He mentioned the Nazi Party hates all foreigners. He did not believe they were involved in the protests.

An absence in his e-mail was he never mentioned the Communist Party or Communism or a Communist part in the protests.

Does his silence re the Communist aspect say anything?

Worked with Sloan yesterday afternoon. Soon, I will be streaming on You Tube. In addition to everything else I am doing.

Bocce playoffs later in the day. Fun. Don’s Place got beat by monday’s #4 team.

Florida State beat Syracuse 45-14. Only one game left. Pitt. Then the season will be behind us.

Dinner tonight with Liz and her house guest. Another law school dean. Should be an interesting evening.

Typical Key West result. The new City Hall was to be dedicated tomorrow. The ribbon cutting. Announced in this morning’s Key West Citizen that there will be no ribbon cutting. The building not ready yet.

The Mosquito Control Board announced that it will be going ahead with genetically modified mosquito testing. Not in Key Haven, however. Key Haven residents voted it down in the recent election. The Board is looking for another key to run the test.

Weather has changed. We are going into winter. Cool this past week. No air conditioning required evenings. Sleep with the windows open. Rarely need air by day.

The temperature level is good. High 70s by day and low 70s by night.

Key West Rotary minutes 1935 reflect the influence of the federal government in resurrecting Key West from the depression, the 1935 Labor Day hurricane, and the demise of Flagler’s railroad. The three had kicked Key West in its ass.

A board meeting was held on December 16, 1935 at Strunk.s new home on Flagler. Federal support was discussed. Favorably.

Responsible was the Works Progress Administration (WPA).

La Semana Alegre was scheduled for the week of February 2, 1936. Also known as the Week of Joy Festival.

Ninety thirty five found the WPA successful in many ways in assisting a Key West recovery.

One the performance of Pirates of Penzance scheduled during La Semana Alegre.

A side note. Snowbird Diana Millikan is writing what she hopes will be a novel regarding WPA’s showing of the Pirates of Penzance in Key West. Her research deep. Her writing skills excellent.

Some background concerning the WPA and Key West. One of FDR’s programs to get America on its feet again.

As a result of the hurricane, demise of the railroad and the depression, Key West had become one of America’s poorest cities. Eleven thousand residents were receiving some form of federal assistance.

The WPA saw the possibility of a metamorphosis. To turn Key West into a tourist mecca. The purpose to make Key West a destination for people with money to spend.

WPA viewed Key West as a cultural destination. Artists, writers, etc. The WPA spent money beautifying Key West’s streets, homes and landscapes. A one year make over basically.

A no screwing around plan. Get in and get it done. Which the WPA did.

By the end of 1935, thousands had visited Key West for the first time. Ordinary people looking for an out of ordinary vacation spot.

The Key West Rotary planned to take advantage of the new Key West by scheduling a several city Rotary meeting for Key West during the February Week of Joy.

The thought occurs how differently things were in the 1930s when contrasted with today. Roosevelt’s government moved its ass to get things done. Key west an example. Nothing gets done that quickly today.

Enjoy your Sunday!

HOGFISH OVERFISHED

Conservation/protect the species ever constant in Florida waters. Properly so. Use it or lose it does not apply to fish.

Hogfish one of the most popular denizens of the deep. Great flavor. During season, Key West restaurants feature hogfish on their menus. Stock island has the great Hogfish restaurant. .

Hogfish numbers have been falling. The powers to be have changed limits, etc.

Recreational catch will be dropping from 5 to 1 per day. Harvest season will run from May 1, to October 31. Limit size has been increased from 12 to 16 inches.

Note that the 5-1 limit per day is for recreational fishing. What about commercial? Where I assume more hogfish are fished daily.

I was at the Custom House at 6 last night for the author’s presentation re FDR On His Houseboat: The Larooca Log 1924-1926. Big title.

The author Karen Chase. The books is FDR’s story when he spent three winters on a houseboat in the Florida keys. It being thought the warm air and waters would help FDR’s polio.

Some interesting items.

Chase 72 today. She had polio also. Ergo, her interest in FDR.

She found the Log at Hyde Park buried under some letters. It is a day by day log of the trip handwritten by FDR. Everything included. Parties as well as places.

Chase says FDR’s language is humorous and captivating. Even in personal relationships, FDR exhibited wit and a penchant for personal jokes.

FDR never walked again after being struck with polio in 1921.

John Lawrence, co-owner of the houseboat Larooca, was an old college friend of Roosevelt.

The name Larooca was created by taking Lawrence’s initials. LA. The next three letters by using the first three letters of Roosevelt. ROO. The CO at the end stands for company.

FDR and Lawrence entertained frequently on the houseboat. FDR’s wife Eleanor on the boat seldom. Their marriage had been strained when she caught FDR cheating several years earlier. She never shared the same bed with her husband again.

Hostess on the houseboat was FDR’s 26 year old secretary Missy Le Hand. Historians record Missy as FDR’s girl friend for 20 years. FDR had more than one during those years.  He has been described as more Clintonese than Clinton himself.

On the last cruise in 1926, FDR, Lawrence and a crew member were fishing from a small boat. They hooked a Jewfish. A big one. If my notes are correct, 7 feet long and 5 feet wide. They had difficulty taking the fish in. The crew person even put 8 bullets in the fish’s head with a pistol. Whatever, appears a record catch.

Chart Room last night. David and John. Tourists coming in and out. Met Greg and Lisa from Sybania, Ohio. Near Toledo. Greg a retired school teacher. Lisa six months away from retirement. Their ninth trip to Key West.

Installment 16 based on Wright Langley’s Key West Rotary History.

The year 1935. Key West Rotarians were all excited. Most were planning on making the trip to Miami for a Rotary Inter-City Meeting. The Club’s slogan: All to Miami.

They never made the meeting. A few days before, the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane hit. A 5. Especially bad in the mid and  upper keys. Hundreds died. The upper keys portion of the Florida East Coast Railway knocked out.

No way existed to get to Miami.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

 

FANTASY FEST PARADE

Tonight is the big night as far as Fantasy Fest is concerned. The Parade! Fifty to seventy floats. Seventy thousand people. Duval jam packed with people yelling and screaming for beads.

Two observations.

I did the parade once on a float. Howard Livingston’s. I think it was the first time he had a float. The parade begins down Whitehead. Then a couple of blocks of Front Street. Followed by the turn onto Duval.

There is nothing to compare to the thrill involved as you hit Duval. Thousands of people. As far as the eye can see. Yelling and screaming. A high!

Seventy thousand people. No joke. No exaggeration. I have always wondered where they sleep? Not enough rooms in Key West. Actually, not enough rooms in all of the Keys.

Some sleep on the beach. If you rise early tomorrow morning, drive down along Smathers Beach. You will see.

I will not be there to watch the festivities. I live three islands up from Key West in Key Haven. I have to drive into Key West. Where to park? No where to be found. People, including me,  stick there cars anywhere. And then walk a great distance to the place from which they will watch the parade.

Twice my car has been towed. $200 plus to get it back in the middle of the night. In addition to which you have to find a friend to get out of bed and drive you to Stock Island where the car has been delivered.

Today is Halloween, also. Robert and Ally attend Montessori. Yesterday, the students were required to dress as a recent historical figure. Robert went as Walt Disney, Ally as Susan B. Anthony. Ally even carried a sign…..Let Women Vote.

Halloween night is another reason I will be staying home this year. A tradition has developed. Key West parents drive their children to Key Haven to trick or treat. Some come in the back of pick up trucks. Parking will be at a premium the first half mile into Key Haven.

The kids come to Key Haven to trick or treat because the goodies are better and the homes are waiting for them. Key West for some strange reason does not work that way. Most homes are darkened for the evening. I suspect because the residents are working or playing. Key Haven residents are waiting for the ghosts and goblins. Their homes are all lite. Many sit on their front lawns with tables of candy for the visitors.

This continues down Key Haven Road to Cypress. It ends about half way down Cypress. The streets are overflowing with young ones. I live at the very end of Cypress. They never get down to me.

My concern is driving home. I have done it at various hours. It is difficult to weave through the mass of children covering the streets. An accident waiting to happen some year. I do not want to be the one. Ergo, better I stay home.

Did my bit on KONK News radio yesterday. Interviewing me was Don Riggs who was talking with me from Phoenix. A great interview. Don a hell of a guy. Once lived and worked in Key West. Worked for KONK Life radio while here.

Syracuse/Florida State at noon. Syracuse 3-4. Florida State 6-1 and ranked 17th nationally. We are going to get killed! However there is always next year and the year after. Not wishful thinking. Many Syracuse players are freshmen, including our terrific quarterback Eric Dungey.

Don and Chris coming in Sunday night. After Fantasy Fest. They prefer the island quiet and to themselves.

Enjoy your day! Drive carefully! Watch out for the kids!

TOGA TOGA TOGA

This is the night! Perhaps the best of Fantasy Fest! Toga Party!

The place Sloppy Joe’s. Inside and out. The street packed.

Men and women wearing white togas. More women than men. Togas skimpy.

It is negotiation time. The key for the ladies is to get as many beads as possible. The men want to see and the women are willing to show. First, the breasts. Then a move downward, front and back. Each a separate transaction. The lower the body part exhibited, the more expensive. Breasts go for one ring of beads. The southern exhibits, two or more.

Ain’t nothing under the toga or covering the privates.

I suspect I enjoy Toga Party best for three reasons. First, I am a voyeur. What a bad boy am I! Second, I am a man. Men are visual. We enjoy looking at naked women. Third, I never got to a toga party while in college. Remember the movie Animal House? I went to a Catholic college and we did not do those things.

Years ago, I would not have missed the Toga Party. In recent years, they are not as important any more. Tonight, I have bocce. Bocce supersedes toga. An age thing, I suspect.

I watched the Republican debates last night. Each Republican debate is worse than the previous one. I don’t understand. There is much talent on the stage. The moderators are a major problem. Last night’s were the worst. The questions stupid, no respect for the candidates, not fair with follow ups.

Mike Huckabee got into something close to my heart. Social Security. He talked about the $3 trillion the government in effect stole from the Social Security Fund.

My day yesterday began with the anti-gravity treadmill. The power went out while I was on the machine. About 10 minutes into my workout. Power failure common in the Keys. Some people left. Never know how long these things last. I waited it out. Locked into the treadmill. Power returned in fifteen minutes. I was glad I waited.

My next  chore was to get the flat fixed. The tire was sitting on my back seat. With a rim in it, the tire would not fit in the Volkswagen Beetle trunk.

Got to Sears at noon. Told it would take to 4 or 5 before car was done. I suspected it would take that long. I was like 88th in line!

I left the car. Walked over to Regal Movies. I figured I would have lunch and then go to the movies. That would kill the 4-5 hours.

No afternoon movie available at the theater.

Enjoyed a two hour lunch at Outback. Read the newspapers. Left at 2. How long could I sit there? I even ordered a dessert to kill time.

Then to T.J. Max and Sears. Looked over men’s clothes. Not much time killed. Looked at everything else, except ladies’ underwear.

It was now three o’clock. Where was I to go? I was at the Sears Shopping Center without a car. I opted to return to the tire facility. My car was still in the lot. Had not been touched yet. Asked the guy about when. He said many still ahead of you. About five o’clock.

Went into Sears’ waiting room. Air conditioning not working well. Slept off and on.

Finally, the car was finished at 5:30. They could not find a hole. Did not know why tire went flat. Cost, $24.

I am concerned it will go flat again. We shall see. The tire is only six months old.

I hurried home to watch the debates which began at 6. First thing I did was pour myself a gin. Then blended into the recliner chair to watch.

I was tired.

Never got to watch the Royals/Mets game. Mets down 2. Next two games in New York should be interesting. The Royals almost won the World Series last year. I think they are committed this year and will be difficult to deny.

This week’s KONK Life column Boudicca, Warrior Queen linked to my Key West Lou website this morning. keywestlou.com.

Syracuse plays Florida State saturday. Syracuse a 20.5 underdog at the moment.

Bocce tonight. Play Larry’s team. We are tied with his team in third place. Serious business tonight.

Enjoy your day! If you are in Key West, add to it. Visit Toga tonight at Sloppy Joe’s!

YESTERDAY’S RECOLLECTIONS

Two of my dearest and long time friends were Jim and Sara Van Sickle. Some 20 plus years. Jim and Sara owned a small motel in New Hartford, NY, when first we met.

I remember them lucking out with the motel. A huge shopping center was to be built. The motel sat right in the middle of one of the two entrances to the shopping center. Later on, they operated a small neighborhood grocery store.

Solid people.

Both now gone.

Last night, I met their son Ron and his wife Betty. Strange as it may sound, I did not recall Ron. As soon as I saw him, I knew he could be no one else but Jim’s son. A dead ringer for his dad.

The three of us sat and chatted at the round table in the Chart Room. Much of the Van Sickle family came to mind. Ron’s sister Joyce who I knew. She and I are now FB friends. Her husband Bill, who I also knew. Lisa. Not my Lisa. Their Lisa. Knew her through her college and early teaching years. Lisa was Jim and Sara’s granddaughter.

I especially miss Jim. We had a strong bond. We were always there for each other. At the very least, communicated with each other by phone daily.

Jim and Sara…..One of the special relationships in my life.

While we were chatting, in came Sheila and Charlotte. Two lovely ladies. Charlotte spending the weekend with Sheila. Charlotte is here to run the marathon.

Ran into Dave in the Pier House parking lot. He was nearing the end of his friday night bar crawl.

I ended up having dinner at SQ 1. At the bar.

A special article ran this past week in KONK Life re SQ 1. Pictures of some of their special dishes featured. One was Shanghai spicy calamari. It looked so good, I had to try it.

The photo did not lie. Outstanding taste! A bit spicy, but good.

Nodded a hello to Mandy as I entered. Never saw her the rest of the evening. David bartending.

A fellow sat near me. Was eyeing my calamari. Asked if it was good. Absolutely! He ordered it.

His name T.J. Federer. From Louisville. Works for Humana.

His last visit to Key West 25 years ago.

We talked of many things. Horses, obviously. We hit it off. I stayed a bit longer enjoying the conversation with him.

There was a third gentleman near us. He joined the conversation near the end. Turned out he is Mandy’s husband. Mandy, the manager of SQ 1.

My morning yesterday was the anti-gravity tread mill. I am feeling that fourth day recently added on. The fourth day makes it three days in a row. I will adjust in due course. And then go to five days a week! Probably around Thanksgiving.

Rushed to do my portion of the KONK News Hour on 104.9. I get 10 whole minutes to discuss my weekly column with Guy. No radio show. Mechanical problems.

Fantasy Fest two weeks away. Crazy time! Begins with Goombay October 23.

Congressman Paul Ryan is in the news. I hope he does not succumb and take the Speaker’s post. The man is quality. Presidential timber. Although a conservative Republican, I like him. The Speaker’s job could make him enough enemies that someday down the road he would not be able to get the Republican endorsement.

Syracuse football today! Syracuse and Southern Florida. Three thirty. I am assuming I will be able to get the game on television. Hope so.

Syracuse a 2.5 point underdog. Why, I do not know. Syracuse is 3-1 and Southern Florida 1-3.

Enjoy your day!

 

PORN FOOD

What a title!

I was sitting at the round table in the Chart Room last night with some old friends and some new. Alicia was the culprit. I had met her once before. She is Sheila’s friend. Also at the table were Alicia’s husband Trevor and a North Carolinian Mark. Both new to me. Plus, the eternal David.

Alicia asked if I wanted to see some porn food. I squeamishly asked what it was. After some joking around the table, I was shown cell phone pictures of porn food.

Turns out Alicia is a gourmet cook. Loves to cook! The pictures were of various dishes she had prepared. Alicia described how most of the dishes were put together. Interesting. Mouth watering.

I commented man has two great drives. His mouth and his genitals. Ergo,  it made sense to describe food from a sexual perspective.

Mark works part time as a Washington, DC  public relations consultant. I enjoyed chatting with him.

Alicia and Trevor are returning to Key West in March. It was agreed a cook out would be held at Sheila’s apartment at that time. Sheila is a fabulous cook, also. I hope they remember to invite me.

As expected, Don and Chris arrived. My Syracuse friends. They got up at 3;30 yesterday morning to catch a 6 am plane. They live outside Syracuse. When they left the house at 4:30, it was minus 10 degrees.

Don and Chris are here for a week. I will see them frequently. We have become good friends over the years.

Tonight is Syracuse basketball! Playing Florida State at 8. Don, Chris and I will be watching the game at Don’s Place.

Which brings me to Dan and Lisa. You have been hiding! I understand you have been in town a week. For shame, we did not get together. Join us at Don’s Place for the game.

Dan and Lisa are from Skaneateles, a town outside Syracuse. They own a restaurant. They will be here for two months.

The game is at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse. The poor Florida State players are going to get a taste of real COLD!

Syracuse is favored by 12 points. I have no comment. I do not know anymore.

I am impressed with the march that is to take place in Paris today. The French people are standing up to the terrorists. What is most impressive is the number in the march is estimated at 1 million. Another impressive factor is that the heads of many nations are joining the march. Forty four. Leaders such as Germany’s Merkel, Britain’s Cameron, Italy’s Renzi, and Israel’s Netanyahu.

I hope nothing happens during the parade.

Enjoy your Sunday!