HAPPY BIRTHDAY AFGHANISTAN

Yes, it is Happy Birthday Afghanistan! Sixteen years ago, the United States invaded Afghanistan. The war has turned out to be the longest in U.S. history.

No end in sight. Getting worse.

Thousands of American dead. Thousands more maimed.

Civilian deaths increasing.

Death rate of children is up 9 percent from 2016. Women, 23 percent.

From 2015-2016, opium production up 43 percent. The war, graft, and money responsible.

Sixteen years ago, the number of opium poppy fields was low. The Taliban were anti-opium production and had forced production to be dramatically reduced.

Then came the U.S. invasion. The invasion the major reason for the substantial rise in production. The Taliban were defeated. Today, Afghanistan provides 90 percent of the world’s opium supply.

I have written and said the past few years how interesting it is that with all the warring and battles going on in Afghanistan, not one poppy field has been destroyed. Our people die. Afghans, also. The poppy fields and those working them, not.

The reason is simple. Washington mandates their protection. Called politics. Our Marines serving in Afghanistan are guarding the poppy fields.

Many Afghans are dependent on poppy work for their livelihoods. They live better than those not involved who are indiscriminately being killed.

There is a fear in Washington that if the poppy fields were destroyed, the people supporting the U.S. would turn against us. Instead of eradication, the U.S. supports a change in what is grown. The U.S. has a program of teaching Afghans how to grow other things such as wheat and corn.

Not smart. For one simple reason. There is not the same monies to be made off wheat and corn. Poppy much more profitable. Significantly so.

The Marines know it. They take their orders from Washington, however. No matter how you view it, Washington is pursuing a path that will not lead to eliminating the poppy fields.

With all the money being made, there has to be some changing hands. Who, how, when, where, I do not know. However you do not have to be a genius to recognize it has to be a fact.

Poppy becomes opium. Opium, heroin. Heroin rampant on the streets of the United States. Killing many every day.

Overdosing has resulted in a tsunami of bodies. Opioids a crisis. Trump campaigned that opioids were a crisis and he would deal with it as such when elected. He appointed a Commission immediately to study and report back with recommendations for him. The Commission did. It said opioids were a crisis and the U.S. should pursue it as such.

Trump declined to do so. He changed his position. He claimed it was not a crisis and could be dealt with effectively on a non-crisis basis.

In the meantime, the medical field claims opioids constitute the worst epidemic in drug history. Medical examiners/coroners cannot keep up with the number of bodies to be autopsied. Many are leaving the field.

In 2016, there were 64,000 overdose deaths. Bodies awaiting autopsy are backing up. Cold storage trailers are being used to hold bodies awaiting autopsy. Some medical examiners are requiring those delivering the bodies to find another place for them till they are ready to perform the autopsy.

Such is the story of Afghanistan on this the 16th year of the war. A terrible evolution. No resolution in sight.

I wanted to watch Syracuse/Pitt yesterday afternoon. Stayed home to watch it from the comfort of the couch. The game was not available via Comcast on any channel. Sad because Syracuse won. 27-24. I would have enjoyed watching my team win.

The Chart Room first last night. David, Shaun, and Kevin. Met Ray. Visiting from Cape Coral. Comes down several times a year.

NRA and politics topics of discussion. No one yelled at anyone. Kevin behaved himself.

Stopped at La Te Da for a bite to eat afterwards.

A post Irma report.

Progress being made. However, slowly. Too much debris and too much damage. Everyone busting their ass. Recovery will take time.

Some places not open yet. Others advising they will not be open for Fantasy Fest. The list long of those who will be open by Fantasy fest and those that will not. Included are 2 Cents, Virgilio’s, Better Than Sex, Regal Cinema, Burger King, and the Yamaha dealership.

Molly died. Molly the dolphin. Fifty plus years old. The matriarch at the Dolphin Research Center.

Molly is believed to have been the oldest living dolphin in captivity.

In her senior years, Molly took to watching over the new born. In grandmotherly fashion. Helping to raise them, teaching them.

Happy birthday to William Hackley. He turned 50 on October 7, 1856.

Robots keep coming! Used in one business today, another the next.

The newest robot is Sally the Salad Robot. Sally’s sole function is to serve as a salad bar of sorts. Apparently, a Sally is needed. Salad bars are magnets for bacteria and viruses.

A Silicon Valley company called Chowbotics manufacturing Sally robots.

Neo-Nazis have returned to Charlottesville for the third time since the August 12 confrontation. Quick visits by a small group. In and out. Led by Richard Spencer, an alt-right leader and founder.

The Mayor said, “You’re not welcome here! Go home!”

The neo-Nazis chant during their visits: “You will not replace us. You will not erase us. / “We’re back and we’re going to keep coming back.” / “Get used to the alt-right. You’re going to have to get used to white identity.”

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

AN EVENING WITH DONNA AND TERRI

Last night, a special evening. Dinner with Donna and Terri. At their home.

Donna cooked. The food exceptional. Chicken falling off the bone in a light chicken broth. Mashed tiny red potatoes. Greens with mushrooms.

Terri has a week off from chemo. She was bright and happy as if nothing wrong. She goes to Tampa this week to see if she qualifies for another procedure.

Her stem cells will be used to make bone marrow. The bone marrow will be her bone marrow. The new bone marrow will be placed in her bones. Between the last two sentences are several steps I could not understand.

Donna looked well, also. Terri’s cancer has been a strain on her. She is an exceptional spouse. Taking excellent care of Terri.

We laughed. All night. Sat at the dinner table after dinner and chuckled away.

I was talking with some one at the Chart Room the other evening. The individual a blog reader. He thought I was actually married to Donna and Terri since I refer to them as my lesbian wives.

Manicure in the afternoon. Love Tammy!

She will be 33 sunday. Looks 17. An Asian beauty!

She has been in the U.S. 13 years. Now a citizen. A proud one.

I asked if her nail ability was learned in Vietnam. No, she said. When she arrived in the U.S., she had to work. Went to cosmetology school. Learned all she knows there.

The same for most Vietnamese who arrive in the U.S. They did not do nails in Vietnam. When they arrive, they see many of their countrymen doing nails. So they go to cosmetology school.

Pebble Beach courses the venue of this week’s pro golf tournament. I watch with interest. I know every hole.

I played Pebble Beach and its sister courses 15 years ago. All the courses extremely difficult. In addition to Pebble Beach, played Spanish Bay and Spyglass.

Pebble Beach expensive back then. Something like $175-200 a round. Today, $495. Wow! Plus caddy, golf cart, etc. The total bill today for a round has to be around $650. Fee for caddy included. Not tip. The round ends up costing $700 plus.

Syracuse/Pitt at one today. I hope I can find it on TV. Syracuse a 1 1/2 point favorite. Syracuse beat Pitt earlier in the year by 10-12 points.

The worst enemy of the people are banks. All for themselves. Screw the public. They gave us 2008 with over 9 million homes in foreclosure and 2.5 million out of work.

I characterize banks as pigs and whores.

I similarly label pharmaceutical houses. The cost of prescription drugs is off the wall.

An example. The disease is called Dushenne muscular dystrophy. Prior to this week, the drug could only be purchased in Europe. $418 for a year’s supply. The FDA approved a company to sell the drug in the U.S. $89,000!

Says it all!

The past few days, someone is getting into my comment column. Selling things. Some in a foreign language. Sloan tried to get rid of the problem yesterday. Apparently did not work. Three new ones this morning. She will be back at it today.

In the meantime, let me know if any of you know how to get rid of the intruders.

Enjoy your day!

 

I’M HAPPY FOR A CHANGE

“I’m happy for a change!”

Not my words. Jim Boeheim’s. Properly so.

Boeheim spoke at a press conference following yesterday’s Syracuse/Pitt game. Syracuse has played poorly till the past few days. Horribly!

They beat Miami handily a few days ago. Yesterday, destroyed Pitt! I could not believe my eyes watching the game.

Two times in the first half Syracuse lead by 28 points. Threes were dropping in with ease. Long ones. The defense was what it should be. Pitt went something like 14 minutes in the first half without scoring a basket.

The final score 77-66. Not indicative of the size of the victory. The last few minutes Pitt was on a scoring spree. Syracuse subdued by that point.

Is Syracuse back? I think so. I hope so. If so, it is going to be a hell of a season!

I am most happy for Boeheim. A gentleman. A class act. It had to be killing him he could not get the team together the first half of the season.

The weather outside is frightful…..

When it is cold up north, the cold extends to Key West. In a different fashion, of course. No snow. The temperature not as low.

It does get cold, however. It has been in the 80s and humid for a couple of weeks. All of a sudden yesterday around noon, the cold front hit. Just like that. Huge winds. Temperature dropped 15 degrees. Heavy rain.

Stayed cold. Still cold. The temperature was a low of 57 during the night. Fifty seven at 8 this morning. Weather Channel said it felt like 52. High today 60. Will be 60 during the night, also.

I turned the heat on last night. It will remain on till the cold spell leaves.

First stop last night was Tavern ‘n Town. Went early hoping to get a bar seat. No way. I left. Sad because I wanted to hear Bobby Nesbitt sing.

Next stop was the Chart Room. Cold walking in from the parking lot. The Pier House sits on open water. The wind blowing in.

Victor bartending. Sat next to a gent from Lansing, Michigan. Max. Retired. In his other life, he put conglomerates together.

Max older than me. By one year. Eighty two. Much in common to discuss.

Too bad Liz was not with us. The conversation would have been interesting. Liz and Max both supported Trump.

Fighting the cold wind, walked over to the Hot Tin Roof. I was dressed for the cold. A heavy winter jacket.

Nevertheless, needed body heating and soul satisfying food. Lobster bisque and lobster mac and cheese.

Ran into Buffalo’s Tom and Fran at the Hot Tin Roof. They were having dinner with his brother. Tonight, they will be having dinner with me.

Tom missed the Syracuse game earlier in the day. He could not believe the story I told him. He is a die hard Syracuse fan, also.

United Airlines first non-stop flight from Chicago arrived saturday.

The airport is relatively new. Followed by an update a couple of years ago to accommodate additional arriving and departing flights. The update outgrown already.

The season is in full swing. No break in January any more. People all over. Restaurants and bars packed. Hotels getting top dollar. Tourists not complaining.

I worry. Key West is going to kill the goose that lays the golden egg. Goose or chicken?

The Citizen’s Today In Keys History listed two interesting events which occurred on this date. The City of Key West was incorporated in 1828. The first traffic light was installed in Key West in 1935.

I did a search to determine where the first light was installed. Could not come up with the information. However in reading a Key West history, the year of incorporation was listed as May 1889. Don’t know which is correct.

In the last 24 hours, I read somewhere that Obama has played 333 rounds of golf while President. Sounded like…..When did he work?

I did some digging re the issue of Presidential golf. Turns out Obama is a piker as far as number of rounds of golf. Woodrow Wilson played 1,200 rounds. Dwight Eisenhower 800.

Some more robot information.

An Australian mining company is mining with robots 24 hours a day. The Rio Tinto Mining Company. Four mines located in Australia’s northwest in an area called Mars-red.

Robots are used for rock drilling. They are described as robotic drilling rigs. Autonomous (driverless) trucks and trains also used. Driverless trains haul the ore hundreds of miles to a port. The trains load and unload themselves automatically.

Rio Tinto is in the forefront re robotic/autonomous mining. The need for human miners reduced to almost nothing.

I obtained the information from an MIT article. The article failed to mention what happened to the human employees let go. An issue requiring serious attention.

Enjoy your sunday!

THE THORNTONS…..HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!

Jean and Joe Thornton…..Happy Anniversary! Forty years!

The event was celebrated with a small group of friends last night at Berlin’s. Janyne one of the party.

Bria payed Jean and Joe lovely compliments and then invited them to dance as she sang.

A lovely couple. A Key West loved couple.

I was at Berlin’s last night with Jenna for dinner.

At least two months since I’ve seen Jenna. She is always working, on the road or running.

She spent Christmas in Indiana with the family. Followed by a week in New York City as Reuben’s guest.

Jenna…..Always beautiful, always striving.

I think Anna and Everett were at Berlin’s also. Shamefully, I did not recognize them. Realized as I was leaving they were new found friends from Aqua and the Chart Room this past week.

My apologies.

Exciting days coming at the end of the month. Exciting to me.

From 1/30 to 2/2, three World War II planes will be on exhibit in Key West. Three planes that helped win the War. Three planes I played with during the War years. Making models.

The B-24 bomber, B-25 bomber, and the P-51 Mustang fighter.

The place, the Key West Airport.

The planes are on a 110 city tour.

Syracuse/Pitt at noon today. Syracuse a 3 point favorite. The game not available on TV. I had wanted to watch the game with Dan Reardon. When your team sucks, TV ignores your team.

On this day in 1789, George Washington was elected the first President of the United states. Only white men who owned property were allowed to vote. Voting restrictions existed even back then. Its purpose then and now to protect the turf of those who are part of the so called establishment.

More re the robot invasion.

IBM Watson has designed and produced robots to replace insurance claim workers at a Japanese insurance company. Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance.

Thirty four human insurance claim workers will be replaced. Beginning this month. Replaced by the IBM Explorer AI robot.

The robots will scan hospital records and other documents to determine insurance payouts, factoring injuries, patient medical histories, and procedures administered.

The robot cost $1.7 million. Plus maintenance of $128,000 a year.

Fukokou will realize a savings of $1.1 million per year on employee salaries. Providing a return on its investment in less than two years.

In addition, productivity is expected to increase by 30 percent.

Just the beginning! Time is now to worry about how human employees replaced by robots will be transitioned. Actually, yesterday was the time. We are always late.

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A SPORTS AFTERNOON

An interesting sports afternoon! I did not view much of it. The results astounding.

First, Syracuse.

Football. Syracuse lost as anticipated. Finally the football season is over. The score of the game unusual. Syracuse beaten by Pitt 76-61. The numbers reflect a basketball score. I am pleased that Syracuse kept it close. Only lost by roughly two touchdowns.

Basketball. Here I thought success would be ours. It was not. Syracuse lost to South Carolina 64-50.

No excuse. However…..Seems South Carolina’s defense was unique. New to college basketball. Syracuse could not handle it.

Boeheim will overcome.

Finally, the Ohio State/Michigan game. #s 2 and 3. Went to two overtimes. Ohio State finally won 30-27.

I only got to watch the overtimes. Fantastic football!

Last night with Liz. A lady. Charming. Her two deanships at law schools make Liz an extra interesting dinner companion.

I picked Cafe. The vegetarian restaurant. A funky appearing place. Reminds me of a college hang out. Food excellent. Business, likewise excellent.

I enjoyed a spinach-artichoke dip and mussels. Liz had some type veggie dish described as a pepper steak. No steak, of course.

Pie at Liz’s home afterwards. Potato pie made with rum. Never had potato pie before. Taste close to pumpkin pie. Made from canned sweet potatoes.

Fidel Castro has died.

A tyrant. Dictator. People forget that he replaced a despot. Batista. Initially, Castro was viewed as a hero.

Somewhere along the way, he ended up on Russia’s side. I have always wondered why not on the side of the U.S.

Batista was a whore. He and his associates became rich. Organized crime and international corporations paved their way in Cuba with bribery dollars.

Key West, the State of Florida and the U.S. have constantly guarded against Castro actions and influences as they might affect each.

An Emergency Management organization exists. Its primary purpose to guard against any large scale immigration. Also to observe any unusual happenings.

Monroe County’s Emergency Management has kicked in. As has Florida’s. Monitoring Cuban activities.

Santa Claus is coming to town! Monday evening at 6. Bayview Park. Key West’s Christmas tree lighting. Santa’s first public appearance.

This morning’s KONK Life E-Blast has an elderly health article. The article notes that 1/3 of people over 65 fall. I am one of them!

Pope Urban II is responsible to some degree for today’s Muslim problem. On this day in 1095, he ordered the first Crusade. His speech considered the most influential of the Middle Ages.

He cried out “Deus vult!” God wills it! He even told everyone that those fighting would have a remission of all their sins. Such meant immediate entrance into Heaven. No Hell or Purgatory. Sounds sort of like the Muslim 17 or 21 or whatever number of virgins who will be waiting for those who die for the Muslim religion.

Pope Urban’s Crusade was the first movement against the Muslim world. For 461 years, the Muslims had battled and seized 2/3’s of the Christian world. Pope Urban wanted the Christian lands reclaimed.

Whatever the reason, a forever war.

The history of the Key West Rotary continues. This is Installment 23.

I have noticed that beginning with World War II, the history contents of Langley’s work have become sparse. Five years missed here and there. Cannot be nothing occurred. Whatever, this feature of my blog will see its conclusion by the end of the week.

When I started, I advised Langley’s history went to 1975. I recently discovered there was later a sort of addendum bringing it up to 1991.

April 1966 was the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Key West Rotary. The Club’s golden anniversary. It was celebrated in a befitting manner.

A gala cocktail party and dinner at the Trade Winds Supper Room in the Holiday Inn. The Holiday Inn was Key West’s largest hotel/motel for years. It was torn down and replaced with what today is the Marriott Beachside.

One hundred Rotarians and guests attended. Guest speaker was Cleve Allen of Coral Gables. His thunder was stolen by Joe Pearlman, one of the Club’s pioneer members. He told stories about yesterday. Back when.

Interestingly, when the Key West Rotary was established 50 years earlier, it was only the third in Florida.

The 1960s found the U.S. heavily involved in Vietnam. The war was very unpopular. Returning soldiers and veterans were not acclaimed. Actually looked down upon.

The Key West Rotary recognized Vietnam veterans were being overlooked. At the January 26, 1967 luncheon meeting, 4 U.S. Marines were invited. They were recuperating from their wounds at the time at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Key West.

Enjoy your Sunday!

GOOD NIGHT LAST NIGHT

It is hard to have a bad night in Key West. Last night was extra special.

It was the company, food, and ambiance.

I was at Berlin’s for dinner with Donna and Terri. Celebrating their anniversary. The event was two weeks ago. The party had to be delayed a bit. Terri was diagnosed with cancer.

Terri has just completed two weeks of chemo. Her last treatment was wednesday. She said she felt well enough to go out last night. Glad she did. She enjoyed herself immensely.

Shane and Gage bartending. The lovely Bria entertaining.

Lynda and Bob Frechette showed up. They were having diner at A&B. Joined us at the bar after their dinner. Two of the nicest people in Key West. Unquestionably.

A lovely young lady came up to me. Striking. Could not recall who she was. I’m George, she said. We hugged and talked.

George is a female. Through and through. Known as George in Key West. Whether her real name, I do not know.

George is Lisa’s friend. George bartends at Hogs Breath. The past 20 years.

I have only seen George 4-5 times in my life. First time was Lisa’s wedding 14 years ago. We met at the martini bar at the reception. Enjoyed a couple of martinis each while chatting. She looks today as she looked then.

I do not recall what we talked about. I believe she does. A mystery surrounds the conversation. She has never shared it with me.

I was glad to see her again. I have made a mental note to stop at Hogs Breath some evening to see her again.

My yesterday began with a 11:15 business meeting. Then a haircut with Lori. My appointment was wednesday. I forgot. Fortunately, I was able to get  in yesterday.

I am a quick haircut. All of 5 minutes. Number 1 on the electric  razor. My hair gone.

Yesterday was Lori’s last day on Southard. Beginning monday, her business Blown Away will be housed in a new building on White Street. Across from Sandy’s.

Stopped for lunch at the Cuban Coffee Queen. I had not been there for three weeks. Could not eat at the Coffee Queen while dieting.

As to the diet, it is ended. I stopped wednesday night.

I am disciplined till I am disciplined no more. I need to see success on the scale. Lost 8 pounds the first week. Only 3 the following two weeks. Not worth the self denial involved.

I am watching my eating, however. Last night at Berlin’s, I had a small salad and two stone crabs. Plus, three drinks. It’s the booze that does it. Wasted calories.

It is amazing how much better I feel since off the diet. I feel good!

I ordered a cheese toast and Cuban coffee. The cheese toast left me feeling heavy. Understandable. Cuban bread is made with pig lard.

Dinner with Dee tonight. Excellent company. She does not know it yet, but I am taking her to the vegetarian restaurant Cafe on Southard. I am not a veggie. However some one in my party when I was last there enjoyed mussels. I love mussels. And the broth made for bread dunking afterwards.

The weather continues to be perfect. Eighty by day. Seventy by night. No humidity. No need for air conditioning day or night.

Don and Chris have returned! Have not seen them yet. Received an e-mail form Don asking if I wanted to watch the Syracuse game with him tuesday night. Does not work for me. I do my radio show tuesday evenings.

Syracuse has basketball and football games today.

Playing South Carolina in basketball. Both teams undefeated. Syracuse a 6 point favorite.

The last football game of the season with Pitt. Pitt a 24 point favorite. I am glad the football season ends today. Syracuse has won only 4 games.

Now for Installment 22 of my rendition of Wright Langley’s History of the Key West Rotary.

It was May 20, 1950. Armed Forces Day. A parade down Duval.

The Rotary sponsored a float. The float highlighted Rotary International. Four lovely young Key West ladies on the float. clad in full length white dresses.

The ladies would not be so attired today. Not that they would be dressed risqué. Simply, less clothing is worn by all today.

The Korean War ongoing in the early 1950s. Our first war since World War II. America still concerned for their military. Vietnam would later change the feeling.

A December 1951 meeting was held at St. Paul’s Parrish Hall.

Retired Major Earl Dillon appealed to the Rotarians to donate blood. They were running out of blood on the front lines in Korea. The need desperate.

So desperate, front line soldiers were donating blood for their fallen companions.

I was in high school during the Korean War. Never knew of the blood problem.

Dillon had a son serving in Korea. Dillon read from a letter received from his son: “This is no police action. This is war!”

Rotary responded immediately. A special committee was formed to organize the blood donations. The Rotary gave mightily.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

TED WILLIAMS HAD IT RIGHT

Ted Williams…..An All-American great!

Famous baseball player, Hall of Fame, World War II fighter pilot, and fisherman. It is the fisherman portion I am concerned with.

Williams loved fishing in the Keys. Especially for tarpon. He bought a home in Islamorada in 1943. Became a Florida resident. Stayed 45 years. Left in 1988.

The reason…..He said it was time to leave when he could no longer make a left turn on US 1 because of the traffic.

He will not be the last to leave for that reason.

I open with two great men today. The other is David Wolkowsky. Besides being my new found friend at physiotherapy, David is a Key West icon. Loves Key West. David is responsible for Key West’s development as a fun funky off beat place.

David is the reason for the Pier House. It was 1967. Where the Pier House sits today was nothing more than a ruddy dirty part of the waterfront. David was a visionary. On this day in 1967, construction began on the Pier House Motel. Fifty units.

Truman Capote was a guest at the Motel. Took over David’s trailer on the site. Capote referred to the Pier House Motel as “elegant inefficiency.”

The Pier House Motel was completed one year later in 1968.

Big trees from little acorns grow. Today’s Pier House.

My yesterday began with the anti-gravity treadmill. Love it! One problem, however. I have a lot of get up and go when on the treadmill. Once I am off, I am dead tired.

I began researching for a subject to write about for this week’s KONK Life column. Came up with nothing. I will come up with a topic. Generally, a gem. But it is always last minute that it hits me.

Last night was Schooners and the Waterfront. Schooners packed, as was the Waterfront. Waterfront food great again. Fried calamari, wings, and fish and chips.

There was a traffic jam of traffic jams yesterday. Construction on US 1 in the Cow Key Bridge area. One lane traffic for about 300 feet in the north bound lane. Traffic held up on Northern and Southern Boulevards, as well as Flagler, as far as the eye could see and beyond. Down to Sears Shopping Center on Northern Boulevard, around the curve on Southern, Flagler to Habana Shopping Center.

A one to two hour delay at noon time.

Police directing traffic would have helped. The delay would have been less. Only one officer directing traffic. At US 1 and College Road. The one place an officer was not needed. The construction and one lane traffic ended at the College Road intersection.

Don called me. The team won 2 out 3 at bocce thursday night. Though not playing, I plan on following the team.

Syracuse/Pitt this afternoon. Syracuse a 3 1/2 point favorite. I think Syracuse will lose. Definitely if the team plays as it did against Louisville.

Syracuse needed Louisville and Pitt wins to guarantee a bid to the big post season tournament. If Syracuse beats Pitt today, Syracuse will be on the bubble.

The game is at 2. Dan Reardon, I will be watching the game at Don’s Place.

Enjoy your day!

A FEW RUDE TOURISTS

Some locals told me recently that the tourists were on the rude side this year. I mentioned it to you previously a couple of times.

Last night, I experienced it.

I was at Tavern ‘n Town for dinner. Seated at the bar. Did not want to fight the heavy traffic to get downtown. The bar was packed. However, two seats opened up. One on each side of me.

I was in the middle of my meal.

A gruff voice said, “Please move.”  Not nice at all. The “please” too harsh to be considered nice.

It was a couple. The woman doing the talking. Beautiful! Extremely so. Very overdressed for Key West.

The man looked like he just left the pool. Tee shirt, shorts, toes, hair a mess.

Had the lady waited a few seconds,  I would have seen them, I would have moved without being asked.

I moved. My dinner, silver wear, napkin, two drinks, bread, butter, and newspaper.

They sat. Three minutes later they were up and on their way out. The lady looked at me and said, “We are being ignored.” I asked where will you go. Downtown. Have a reservation? No.

My advice was you are better off staying here. Service a bit slow because the bar is crowded. The food excellent. The entertainment outstanding. If you go downtown, you have to fight the traffic. Find a parking place. They had their own car. Then wait 1-1.5 hours to get a table because you have no reservation.

They knew better. Walked away without a word.

Things were moving. A third seat opened. Three bar seats in a row. Unusual!

Three persons took them. One a lady around my age. With some trouble moving. Unsteady on her feet. The couple probably her daughter and daughter’s husband. In their late 50s, early 60s..

The older woman went to get on the stool next to me. She was having trouble. She was short. As she went up to sit, she started to fall. She fell into me and I grabbed he to stop her falling further. The women kept saying to me, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.

The daughter had not seen the fall. She heard the I am sorry’s, however. What are you doing to my mother? I was still holding her. It was like I was abusing the woman.

I explained and the mother did. The daughter was still pissed. She moved her mother three seats away. The daughter sat next to me, the terror of Tavern ‘n Town.

I was glad my dinner was almost over.

Key West exceptionally crowded. Must say it again. Many Japanese tourists. Unusual. Driving next to impossible. People crossing streets without looking. Traffic lights mean nothing to pedestrians and bicyclists.

I had been at Body Owners late morning. Headed downtown afterwards. Had a haircut appointment with Lori. A normally 15 minute trip took 35 minutes. Then, 20 minutes to find a parking place.

I was not a happy camper.

Key West City fathers encourage more and more people to visit. However, they fail to consider how to handle the crowds. Especially, the parking aspect.

Lori and I discussed the crowd situation and her business this time of the year. Her tale always the same.

Business slow the week before a holiday. Tourists already had their hair dome before they came to visit. Her business picks up dramatically the week after. The locals have extra money because of the holiday. They come in in droves to get their hair done.

Syracuse lost to Pitt last night 72-61. The game closer than the score indicates. I thought Syracuse looked good. However, still needs that big man. Pitt controlled the boards 2-1. Scored 22 points on rebounds off the offensive board.

My New Year’s Eve predetermined. A daughter of Don and Stephanie marrying tonight. I am invited. I look forward to the wedding celebration.

This week’s KONK Life column Political Sexcapades linked this morning to my Key West Lou website. .keywestlou.com. An interesting article. Involves Trump and the Clintons.

Everything in moderation tonight. For me and for you.

Happy New Year!

 

NO BLOG TODAY

No blog today. I have poison in my pen. Better I write nothing at all.