A SLEEPING GIANT AWAKENED

The students at Parkland High School may be a sleeping giant awakened.

Several sources attribute a sleeping giant comment to Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto following Japan’s successful bombing of Pearl Harbor. Yamamoto led the Japanese forces in the attack.

Yamamoto is alleged to have said: “I fear all we have done is awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”

Parkland students are disturbed. Properly so. Disturbed at an age where fear is not a part of their composition. They are able to speak out and are speaking out…..Stop the useless slaughters! Protect students! Washington, do something! President Trump, do something! How much money did the President get from the NRA? And on and on.

Good for them! Their cries/words may finally be the impetus to get something done.

The students cannot be considered crass for asking how much Trump received from the NRA for his campaign. Money does influence. Money does talk.

The number is $21 million. The largest amount the NRA has ever contributed to a Presidential candidate.

Such may account for what appears to be Trump’s calculated silence re gun violence. Note he spoke of first responders on his Parkland visit and merely glossed over the shooting and gun control itself.

The last time a President addressed the NRA was 1983. Till Trump became President Trump. Trump spoke before the NRA and said, “You have a true friend and champion in the White House.”

We believe you Mr. President. You did not lie when you made that statement.

Violence begets violence. One crazy act another. Near home this time. Marathon.

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Department received a phone call yesterday morning that pictures of guns were being shown on Instagram together with a message threatening Marathon High School. Specifically, a band concert to be held that afternoon.

The Sheriff’s Department immediately went to work. Brought all federal ad state agencies together. The perpetrator was identified. Nineteen year old Marathon resident Duviel Gonzalez was arrested.

The arrest was made prior to the band concert. The concert went on a s scheduled at 3 pm, though under heavy security.

Every day a good day when living in Key West. Some even better. Yesterday was one of those days.

I watched the Syracuse/Miami game on TV. Syracuse having a difficult season. Needed an on the road win. Got it! Beat Miami 62-55.

Picked Catherine up before 4. A different Saturday late afternoon into evening began.

First Mary Ellen’s on Applerouth. A relatively new bar. Heard good things about its Happy Hour. Toasted cheese sandwiches and tomato soup the house specialty. Everyone had told me both to die for. They were right!

What no one told me however was that the tomato soup came with garlic bread. Wow! Delicious!

The sun still shining when we left Mary Ellen’s. What next? We walked two blocks to the Green Parrot.

I had not been to the Green Parrot in several years.

The place packed. Standing room only. A New Orleans group playing. People dancing. Stayed a while. Enjoyed a couple of drinks. Enjoyed each other’s company.

Where next as we left the Green parrot? I said, home. I’m tired.

It was dark.

We went to Catherine’s, sat on her terrace by candlelight and talked of many things.

After leaving Catherine’s and on the way home, I stopped at Donna and Terri’s to visit Bear. Donna and Terri live around the block from Catherine.

Bear fine. Biting. Learning to let Donna and Terri know when he has to pee. Goes to the door and whines. The other taking time.

Bear a friendly bundle of joy. A good addition to Donna and Terri’s life. Forgotten are Terri’s still fractured shoulder and Donna’s close encounter with cancer. Bear is everything!

A post Irma update. More than 5 months since the hurricane hit and renovations and rebuilding not close to completion. Not because people are slow. Because Irma beat the hell out of many parts of the Keys.

This past week the County started cleaning up the canals. Those of you who do not live in the Keys nor have never visited must understand that canals are like roads. Behind many homes. People swim and boat in them.

Not since Irma, however.

Pictures in yesterday’s edition of the Key West Citizen painted the picture vividly. Debris like you would not believe. Everything from homes to boats to appliances to shrubbery. So thick, it appears man could walk across them and the water.

A busy Sunday ahead. I have a luncheon scheduled. Then Kate Miano’s Gardens later in the afternoon.

Enjoy your Sunday!

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!

 

ZOMBIE BIKE RIDE / CRZBS

Last night was the final evening of Gombay. I did not go out. It poured heavy several times during the evening. I hope it did not disrupt Goombay too much.

Today, the beginning of Fantasy Fest itself. Shed your clothes and join in!

Joking.

Tonight at 6, the Zombie Bike Ride. Thousands will participate. Riders costumed and made up. Some scary weird. Bikes decorated, also.

Bicycles big in Key West. Sole means of transportation for many.

Though not an official part of Fantasy Fest, Kate Miano’s Gardens from 5:30-8:00. Kate’s sunday evening event has become a Key West tradition.

Entertaining this evening are the CRZBs. Supposed to be  excellent. A jazz ensemble. The only player I know is Skipper Kripitz. An excellent drummer and an extremely fine person.

Sunday at the Gardens always a fun time.

My day yesterday was watching the Syracuse/Miami game. Syracuse lost 27-19. A different play result here or there, the score could have been reversed.

Syracuse played poorly in the first half. Dungey had nothing working for him. His second half a beauty, however!

Syracuse’s defense excellent.

If I had to pick one item that contributed big time to Miami’s victory, it was their speed. Fast off the line. It took almost all of the first half for Syracuse to accommodate.

Syracuse has gained momentum as the season has worn on. They will make a bowl this year. Next year, watch out! Dungey back!

King and Queen of Fantasy Fest have been identified. King is “Saint Paul” Murphy. Queen, Destiny Montgomery.

I know Destiny. Sings often with the Dueling Bartenders. A lovely young lady with a magnificent voice!

Several years ago, a local group worked hard to bring a film festival to Key West. They succeeded. This year’s Key West Film Festival is scheduled for November 15-18. Thirty films will be shown.

This day in 1962, President John Kennedy announced he had ordered a blockade of Cuba in response to Soviet missiles being installed in Cuba. Kennedy warned the U.S. was ready to retaliate if any missiles were launched.

The Cuban missile crisis was upon us. The crisis continued for six days. A nuclear war was imminent. no question about it. Either the Soviet Union backed off and removed them or a nuclear war would occur.

Naval war vessels from both sides were face to face in the waters between Key West and Cuba.

Both sides came to an agreement and war was avoided.

It was an emotional moment to watch on TV the Russian vessels turning around to return to Russia.

Feelings were high. The situation tense. What is happening presently with North Korea kid stuff in comparison. Though no less serious.

Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev a nut. Similar to Trump, far worse.

Key West was in the middle of the fracas. Artillery guns were erected on Smathers and other beaches pointing towards Cuba. Military personnel were transported quickly and in large numbers to Key West.

Khrushchev blinked. Fortunate for everyone. Kennedy had met the enemy and beat him.

Some things are nor readily revealed to us via the media. An example is the Executive Order Trump signed this past week recalling 1,000 retired pilots to active duty.

We are fighting in so many places that we have an insufficient military personnel. Another example is that the military has lowered its standards for successful enlistment. The U.S. will now accept applicants who have a marijuana history.

For several years, I have suggested a return to the draft or mandatory military time following high school graduation.

I believe we would be in fewer wars if more families were directly involved. A President and Congress would be reluctant to engage in new wars if the people back home had a direct personal interest in those fighting.

Still waiting on Irma and Me. I had a desire for strawberry ice cream at 3 this morning!

Enjoy your Sunday!

GOOMBAY LAST NIGHT

The beginning of Fantasy Fest. Goombay, last night.

Been doing Goombay for at least 15 years. Never changes. Except it gets bigger. Longer, more stands, new restaurants. Band at end of Petronia more sophisticated. A Larry Smith presentation last night. Christine Cordone singing. Several accompanists.

Joni with me. An interesting woman. Former Sunoco executive. Sharp.

Met Joni for last night’s fun experience behind Bourbon Street. A drink. Listened to some music.

Prior to meeting Joni, stopped at 801. The customary Don’s Place crowd. A tradition has developed. A group goes together. Leaves by taxi from Don’s Place. Dropped off at 801. A couple of drinks.

I was early for my Joni meet. Stopped into 801 looking for my friends. As expected, they were there!

Joni and I walked Petronia to the big band stand at the end. I kept telling her to stop where ever and we would buy some stand food. She never took me up on the offer. I suspected she was not fond of the food either. Never has turned me on.

Therefore, we stopped into Blue Heaven. Sat in the restaurant part and enjoyed some food.

Joni lives on Petronia. Two hundred feet off Duval. Thought I was dropping her off. No, she was not ready yet. So it was off to Bourbon Street’s front bar.

I have never been to Bourbon Street late at night. A different experience.

The place was mad!

Lots of ladies. Dancing up a storm.

Employees walking around in black jock straps and black bow ties.

My back was to the bar. I turned around. One of the jock strap guys was dancing on the bar.

Strip joints have women dancing on the bar, stage, etc. wearing nothing. Mostly men in the audience, though a handful of women. Last night at Bourbon street similar, except lots of men and a handful of women.

Syracuse/Miami 3:30 this afternoon. ESPN. Syracuse 4-3, Miami 6-0. Miami a 17 point favorite.

Can Syracuse duplicate its victory over Clemson last week with a win over Miami this week?

The opioid crisis not being handled well. During the campaign, Trump labeled it a crisis. After the  election, no crisis but he would deal with it. This past week, Trump returned to describing it is a crisis.

While he vacillates, Rome is burning! 142 a day dying in the U.S. from opioid overdosing.

The Comments section to this blog is active. Some strong political differences.  I have mentioned armed masked mercenaries walking the streets of Puerto Rico two times this past week. No comment from anyone. Isn’t the issue worth discussing. I see it as San Juan today, New York, Los Angeles or Miami tomorrow.

Our country stranger by the day. What happened to the America of old? Dickinson, Texas an example.

Harvey did a number on Dickinson. Residents need money to rebuild and/or replace belongings. The application for funding is titled Harvey Repair Grant. Contains a strange clause. In order to qualify for the funds, one must sign a verification not to boycott Israel.

What the hell does Israel have to do with U.S. citizens obtaining money form its own government to get through the Harvey crisis?

The Verification reads as follows: VERIFICATION NOT TO BOYCOTT ISRAEL: By executing this agreement below, the applicant verifies that the applicant: (1) Does not boycott Israel; and (2) will not boycott Israel during the term of this Agreement.

The Verification is based on a recently passed Texas State law requiring contractors to so certify. Which by local hands has been extended to applicants themselves.

This pledge conditions Harvey relief. Requires the signed pledge not to boycott in order to get funding to rebuild.

Clearly violates the First Amendment.

No question Texas is a conservative state. Occasionally, far to the right. The Verification an example.

A further example also of the crazy people running our government. From the White House down to the Texas State Legislature to the Texas Governor who signed it into law.

Another day, no Irma and Me. I hate the waiting!

Enjoy your day!

 

STONE CRABS

Last night, the meal of meals. Stone crabs!

The season opened sunday. It was my first stone crab meal of the season.

Enjoyed with another stone crab enthusiast, Jean Thornton. My great host from Birmingham who sheltered me and several others during Irma.

Jean crazy for stone crabs, also.

We dined at the Conch Republic. My idea. Stone crabs were great there last season.

The stone crabs tasty. Large.

Two complaints. The shells not broken enough and the mustard sauce a blob. We could not eat it. Stuck with melted butter.

Did not spoil the joy of the meal, however.

Priced $44 a pound. Cheap! I expected $60, perhaps even $70. Irma destroyed better than half the traps. I suspect the low price is because there still are not enough customers. Conch Republic half filled last night.

During dinner, Jean tells me she heard stone crabs were $26 a pound at the Pier House’s Pier One. No way! Never that cheap anywhere over the years!

I stopped at Pier One on my way to the Chart Room after dinner. A cute young Philippine hostess told me yes, $26 a pound. Six. Medium.

In the next couple of nights, I will be at Pier One enjoying.

The Chart Room was packed. Tourists galore. A good sign. I am concerned how successful Fantasy Fest will be. My thought is the powers to be should have adjourned it several weeks.

John bartending. Smiling big time. He was going to have a big night tip wise. It has been a long time.

David there. We chatted a while.

Jean, Molly, Ollie and I sat at the round table.

Molly is Kevin’s wife. Kevin on business in Boston till wednesday.

Ollie entertained us with his testicle burial story. A true one. The ladies thought it interesting. The first time they had heard it.

I told the group about Jenny who had a mastectomy and no nipple on the replacement. She intends to have the sunset of Key West tattooed where the nipple would have been.

No one believed me. I felt like an ass.

It was haircut time earlier in the day with Lori. Told her about the nipple/tattoo story. She was very familiar with it. Said many women have it done that way these days.

In a year if I run into Jenny again, I may have to ask her to show the unbelievers her Key West sunset.

After my haircut earlier in the day, shot over to Lee Nails. A manicure with Tammy. Told Tammy about Irma and Me. She was all excited.

We got into reading. Tammy is a successful business woman at 34. She and husband Rick have a booming nail business.

Tammy cannot read.

I was surprised. She was schooled in Vietnam. Not in English, however. Her 11 year old son reads to her if there is something at home she must read.

Terri’s first major milestone reached! God bless!

They have been shooting her big time every day with something to increase her stem cell supply. In order for the bone marrow transplant to begin, she had to have 4 million new stem cells. Tested yesterday. 4.5 million!

Tuesday, the transplant procedure begins. Monday going to be difficult. She will be given a massive dose of chemo. The most ever at one time. Terri has already been warned she will be sick sick! Vomiting, diarrhea, the works, big time.

She’s ready. Ready for everything.

A post Irma update.

The canals are filled with debris. Not just trees. Demolished houses and trailers. Broken boats.

The County passed the necessary legislation yesterday permitting FEMA and other agencies to begin a clean up of the canals.

William Hackley 1856 finds him up earlier every morning recently. Around 4. Out hunting. Appears that was how meat and fowl for the dinner table were obtained back then.

Syracuse enjoyed a major win last week. Beat #2 Clemson. Tomorrow, Syracuse plays Miami. Ranked #8 nationally. Can it happen again? I doubt it. But hope so!

Miami a 16 point favorite.

John Kelly’s press conference yesterday disappointed me. The man a distinguished former Marine general. Well respected. Now Trump’s Chief of Staff. His words re the telephone call and the behavior of the Florida Congresswoman did not ring true with me. Trump has a way of taking good people and somehow making them do what he wants. The good people eventually tarnished by Trump.

I think Kelly was used yesterday.

Let’s see what happens down the road.

Fantasy Fest begins today. Goombay!

Doing it with Joni who I met last week at Antonia’s.

I am beginning to feel like an overdue pregnant woman. Waiting for Irma and Me to be published. Any day now.

Enjoy your day!

 

SILENT COUP

Silent coup. The quiet sneaky attempt to overthrow an existing government. Sometime successful, sometime not. Part of a banana republic experience.

Breitbart is an ultra right publication. Believes in white supremacy. Anti-Semitic. Opposed to present day U.S. government.

Trump’s senior strategist and adviser is Stephen Bannon. Word is he runs the White House and exerts the most influence over Trump.

Bannon is a former CEO of Breitbart.

Breitbart ran article last Friday claiming U.S. intelligence agencies were involved in a “silent coup” against Trump. The Wall Street Journal in a Monday article re Trump mentioned the quote.

Silent coup to me infers banana republic involvement. We are not yet a banana republic. Not even close. Never will be. Even though some lie hoping the seed will be planted that we become so.

Silent coup was the topic of my Go Live video on Facebook yesterday. Thought it interesting enough to repeat here.

If you have not yet, check out my Go Live Key West Lou video. Short. The silent coup one took all of 1 minute 8 seconds.

Poor Liz. Yesterday was day 2 of her hip replacement surgery experience.

Spent the day with her. She was much better. Most if not all of the drugs withdrawn. She slept peacefully in the afternoon. Made sense while talking. Had physiotherapy for the first time.

If all continues as it is, she will be discharged tomorrow.

I missed my Sons and Daughters of Italy meeting last night. Opted to remain with Liz. The Sons and Daughters meetings are part parties also. Fun!

Oh, the pain! Syracuse lost yesterday. To Miami. 62-57.

The end of the road to the NCAA Tournament? Perhaps. Probably, yes. Syracuse is 18-14. Eighteen wins difficult to get in. On the other hand, Syracuse is 10-8 in the ACC. ACC tough. Ten wins carry a lot of weight.

Spring breakers have arrived! All over Key West. Publix and Smathers Beach. I assume Duval bars in the evening. I can not be sure. As much as I do of Key West, Duval bars I rarely frequnet.

From what I have seen, the spring breakers are enjoying themselves responsibly.

Never did spring break when I was in college. No money. Worked holidays at a meat packing plant in Utica. Big hourly. Made a good pay check for two week’s work.

Never missed spring break. Hard to miss that which you have never experienced. Retirement is my spring break.

Aqua’s new Side Bar has entertainment! Got to be great. The bar has a modern flavor. Something different for Key West.

The ladies were at it again yesterday. International Women’s Day. In the U.S. celebrated as a Day Without Women. The ladies stayed home from work. Went out and demonstrated. To show the economic clout of women.

Have to hustle. A late morning manicure with Tammy.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

FRIEND PACKED CHART ROOM

The Chart Room last night was mostly friends. Some old, some recent, some new.

I walked into John, Sheila, Jean and Joe, Tom and Clare, Nanette and Jean Louis. Later, David, Anna and Everett, and Paul.

Sheila, the love of my life. Always happy. Joe and Jean smiling and chatting. Waiting for the Alabama game saturday. Jean will jump off a building should Alabama lose.

Tom and Clare from Aqua a couple of weeks ago. Tom a retired lawyer. Wife Clare, a former teacher and now PhD statistician. Tom and Clare were with friends from Florida’s New Port Richey. Nanette and Jean-Louis.

Nanette a retired middle school principal. Jean-Louis an energy consultant.

Nanette brought to mind a Jeanette McDonald and Nelson Eddy musical film from the 1930s. No, No, Nanette.

Chatted a bit with everyone. I was waiting for Paul. I met Paul at Giorgio’s home the night some of us watched the Michigan game last week. Paul is retired Naval Intelligence. A good time to talk with Paul in view of the intelligence political items on the front burner in Washington. I was not disappointed in our talk. Enlightening.

Saw David at the end of the bar as I was paying the bill. Seated next to him were Anna and Everett from monday night at Aqua. Their boat named Anna Cabana. Nice people.

David, Anna and David Alabama fans also.

Headed home. Stopped at Roostica on the way for lemoncello wings. Lucked out. Sat next to a bocce opponent. His name escapes me. A tough adversary. He loved to roll first. Long. Ninety nine percent of the time, his ball was right on the polina or mere inches away.

Things that surprise me. The number of people familiar with smelts. I wrote about smelts yesterday. My favorite Christmas fish. Many responded. Many aware of smelts. I received an education re where they are available to be harvested. One spot is western New York State. I did not know.

One of yesterday’s items that I did not have room to get to involved Richard Nixon. On January 4, 1974, Nixon refused to hand over tapes subpoenaed by the Watergate Committee. It was the beginning of the end for Nixon. He resigned eight months later.

Another item held over to today involves the Marathon Turtle Hospital. A unique rare facility.

Fifteen juvenile turtles were air lifted from Cape Cod to Marathon. Kemp’s ridley sea turtles. An endangered species.

The baby turtles had pneumonia. Brought on from cold Cape Cod waters. Weighed anywhere from 2-10 pounds.

Today in Keys History carries a photograph of the ground breaking for a Masonic Temple in July 1950. The building today The Studios of Key West.

A three story building. Where did the Masons go? Is there a formal Masonic Temple in Key West somewhere else? I don’t think so. Surprising.

William Hackley day. On this date in 1856, he was up and raring to go at 7 in the morning. Rain coming in  from the northwest. Hackley wrote, “It is so dark now in the office that I can scarcely see to write.”

No electricity in those days. Everything by candle light, if possible.

Candle light tough to work by. I recall one of the Key West hurricanes where I was stuck in the house for several days without electricity. Candles only. To this day, I cannot understand how Lincoln studied law by candle light. Reading tough!

Skaneateles restaurateur Dan Reardon back in town. A snowbird. Two to three months a year. A die hard Syracuse fan. We will be watching some games together.

Syracuse played Miami last night. Syracuse won 70-55. Game not televised.

I am pleased Syracuse won the game and in good stead. Miami came into the game 11-2, Syracuse 8-6. News reports state Syracuse’s fabled defense finally worked, the players crashed the boards and their offense was effective.

Pitt saturday at noon.

Roger Kostmayer is a Key West resident. I have never met him. However from his letters to the editor have come to know him. I would describe him a walking conscience.

In a recent letter to KONK E-Blast, he wrote: “Without warning or debate, in the dark of the night behind closed doors, the Republican caucus effectively killed the Office of Congressional Ethics, an act of extraordinary hypocrisy.”

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DAVID TAYLOR / DOUBLEHEADER BLOG

I had computer problems yesterday. Of my making. Did not know how to correct. Sloan not available. Took me till last night to figure it out.

Ergo, no blog yesterday. Sorry. Today, a doubleheader.

I was out early New Year’s day. Around 4. Did some late partying. Grabbed a bite at Hot Tin Roof. My intent was then to return home to watch a game.

I was walking by the Chart Room. Looked inside and saw David sitting alone at the side bar. Went in to say hello and Happy New Year! Had no desire to drink. Wanted to get home.

A gentleman stood up at the table nearby. It was David Taylor. David is from Kentucky. He has been a loyal blog reader for years. Comments occasionally. I was happy to see him. Met his wife Marilyn and friends Martin and Randy.

Martin and Randy are from North Dakota. North Dakotans are smart people. They went for the pipe line. Everyone earning top dollar. MacDonald paying $20 an hour.

I shared a few words and left. I did not want to be late for the game. I hope David and friends will be here the rest of the week and we run into each other again. If not, next year! I would like to have a drink with you, David.

The Citizens’ Voice has been having an ongoing discussion re the cost of bicycles in Key West. Someone reported two bikes were stolen at the Bight. One $2,600 and the other $1,500. The numbers on the high side. However, bicycles are expensive in Key West.

Someone wrote no bike is worth more than $75. In Key West, one is. As with everything else, a bike costs mucho dollars. Probably half the Key West population are without cars and use a bike for everyday transportation. Cars are not required. Especially if you live in Old Town. Key West is a small island.

Go out and try to buy a used bicycle. $300, if you are lucky. More like $700-800. New ones can be off the wall.

Yesterday, I did a blog which I never sent out. Wiped it. The reason being I was a bit nasty in my comments re an incident. Better to say nothing. I did not write another blog. I was still upset. I wrote a brief note saying no blog because my pen was poisoned.

I received a ton of comments. Why is your pen poisoned? Some via e-mail, some by phone and a couple in person. That which was bothering me, is over now. I am back to me.

Syracuse lost to Miami yesterday 64-51. It is going to be that kind of season. Never would have expected it with the basketball team. Even the mighty shall fall!

Manicure with Tammy yesterday afternoon. Wow! Business was terrific. Women standing waiting for manicures and pedicures. I make an appointment so had no problem.

Tammy was surprised by the crowd. All appeared to be locals.

I think the four day holiday weekend had something to do with it.

Anna from Novara e-mailed yesterday to wish a Happy New Year! She also complained of Italy’s immigration problem as it is personally impacting her.

The immigrants are mostly Muslims from North Africa. Their goal Sweden and Denmark. Novara part of the route to those countries..

Anna was upset. Anna lives in a high rent district. Extremely expensive and beautiful 1,500 year old buildings. She has owned her apartment thirty years.

She advises the immigrants are using the magnificent court yard to defecate and urinate.

Immigration continues and will continue to be a problem in most European nations for several years.

I spent a lot of time yesterday researching this week’s KONK Life column. At the moment, the title will be the United States Invades Russia. We did. Back at the end of World War I. The Russians have never forgotten.

Enjoy your Sunday!

STONE CRABS & HOWARD LIVINGSTON

We are into the stone crab season. One of man’s finest foods. I have many times said that if I were to be executed, my last meal would be stone crabs.

I met Howard Livingston about 15 years ago. A different man at the time. Though possessed of the same basic charm as today. Howard was a Chicago executive. Wore three piece suits. Short cropped hair.

Howard had built a new home on the water on Summerland Key. We used to go out together frequently, visit each other’s homes. Howard gave a call one morning and said to come up. We were going out on his boat.

We enjoyed a delightful day on the water. If my memory proves correct, we went out to Marvin Key. We returned late afternoon. While the ladies were preparing dinner, Howard told me to join him.

We went out in a small flat boat. At a particular point, Howard stopped and threw the anchor in. Then he directed me to the front of the boat where he was standing. Howard had some stone crab traps sitting down under the water. Each had an attached buoy floating on top.

We were going to collect some stone crabs! A first time for me. Lest anyone think we were poaching, these were Howard’s traps.

We developed a system. I would lift the trap out of the water. The traps were wood strips attached in box form. Spaces in between the strips. Howard would take the stone crabs out. One at a time. Size was important. If too small, the stone crab was returned to the water.

I learned a lot that day. Only one claw can be removed. Then the crab is thrown back in the water. The claw regenerates. Amazing!

Howard did the claw removal. Ever so carefully. He held the stone crab in one hand and carefully snipped away where the claw attached to the body. He admonished me to be careful if I ever graduated to removing the claw. The claw where attached is close to the crab’s lungs. A miss cut and the crab would die.

The crab was returned to the ocean. The trap followed. However, Howard first put something in the trap. A large frozen pig’s foot. Apparently pigs feet are gourmet dining to stone crabs. The pig’s feet would attract the stone crabs and induce them to enter the trap from which there was no escape.

The day was not yet finished. We returned and had a healthy dinner. Stone crabs not included. They had to be boiled and then cooled. To be eaten another time.

It was midnight and I was still there. For what turned out to be the best part of the evening. Howard and I were seated out on the dock. My feet in the water. Howard sitting with his back to a post. Howard was playing his guitar and singing. Jimmy Buffett songs and songs he himself had written.

We were both smoking cigars. Howard had brought a bottle of Gran Marnier out on the dock. We each dipped our cigar in the Gran Marnier before smoking. We followed it with each of us periodically taking a swig out of the bottle.

A day in Key West time as Howard would later set to music.

Enjoy your Sunday!