ANDREWS INN…..IRMA AND ME BOOK SIGNING NEXT TUESDAY

Irma and Me my second book. My first book signing. Next tuesday from noon to 3 at Andrews Inn.

I have a degree of fear and trepidation. Will anyone talk with me? Will anyone buy the book?

Three more experienced authors are participating also.

I visited Andrews Inn yesterday. First time. A quaint small complex where you would expect to find nothing.

I gave directions yesterday. I was wrong. Let me give them again.

Andrews Inn is located at Zero Whalton Lane. Finding Whalton Lane a mystery. It is located off Duval. Across the street from Viva Cafe. A half block off Truman going towards the Gulf.

Drive straight in.

Michael and Albena Dana proprietors. Bought the place 8 months ago. Put it in idyllic shape.

I met Albena. A young beautiful women from one of the southern European countries. She is all excited about the book signing. Their first. Told me food and drink would be available.

Albena an interesting name. My grandmother on my father’s side was named Albina. Excited Albena. My grandmother arrived from Italy. Met my grandfather in Stamford, Connecticut. They fell in love, married and moved to Utica.

If time permits, drop by the book signing. Sounds like a party in the making.

Besides the Andrew Inn visit, my yesterday busy. A haircut with Lori, lunch with Catherine at Sandy’s Cafe, and a manicure with Tammy. My afternoon.

Last night, the Chart Room first. Glad I made it. Interesting people and conversation.

I was chatting with John, Steve and Cindy at the bar. Got into my earlier blog concerning Key West homosexuality the winter of 1979-80.

Steve jumped right in. He and Cindy settled in Key West in 1975. Steve knew exactly what I had written about. A bad time for gays, a bad time for Tennessee Williams.

He described it as  a war initiated by a religious faction who wanted gays out of Key West.

I was chatting with David at the round table when Debbie and Eric came by. From Rochester, NY. Ninety miles from my home town Utica.

Debbie is a grammar school cafeteria administrator. Eric runs a liquor store.

Parents of two, grandparents of two.

Debbie and Eric visit Key West once a year. This trip they were staying at the Pier House.

Two guys came in. From Tampa. Visiting for a few days. One originally from Rochester.

It was a Rochester night.

The Rochester visitor a die hard Syracuse fan. We were in all our glory talking about Big Orange basketball and football.

John told me Morgan was stopping by. I wanted to see her again. My stomach said no. I was hungry.

It was off to Tavern ‘n Town for my diet prime rib. I am stuck at 32 pounds. Should have lost a couple more by now. I cannot complain, however.

Trump is destroying our country. Wake up America!

This tariff thing a disaster waiting to happen. Recall Herbert Hoover. The US was sliding into economic problems in 1929. Hoover knew he had to curtail it. He thought a tariff program similar to Trump’s would do the trick.

It did. But not the way he anticipated. The tariffs led the US into the Great Depression.

Trump is the Herbert Hoover of 2018.

Fifty years from now, Trump will be remembered as the person who destroyed the US economy, brought the US to its knees.

Unless he is stopped.

I meet the world in the Chart Room. Over the years, I have met three soybean farmers who own homes also in Key West. The soybean market has been great for them. They are luxuriating in money.

I can’t wait to see them again. All three told me China was their best customer. With the Trump tariff problem, China will no longer be their best customer. Not even their customer for that matter!

Trump cannot see the reality before him. He hit China with $50 billion in tariffs. China came back immediately and hit the US with $50 billion in tariffs.

Trump is not to be screwed with. He just announced he is considering another $100 billion in tariffs re China.

Trump’s head is in his ass. China does not scare. They are a major power. Probably the second in the world. Soon to take the US’s place as number one

Trump also forgets China is the US’ banker. The US borrows money easily as needed from China. The US presently owes China $1.3 trillion. China the US’ second largest creditor.

Suppose China gets pissed off. They could call in US notes, refuse to loan any further monies to the US, etc.

Then what?

Former Mexican President Vicente Fox was on Morning Joe earlier today. He took Trump apart.

Recall in January, Fox told Trump: “Your mouth is the foulest shithole in the world.” This was after Trump referred to African countries as “shitholes.”

This morning Fox referred to Trump as a liar, said NAFTA was working for Mexico that was experiencing full employment, was not aware of the horrible rapes by immigrants in Mexico that Trump has been talking about the past few days.

Money. Everything comes down to money. Fox said Mexico buys $40 billion a year of corn from the US. Because of the tariffs levied, Mexico was looking to Argentina and other South American nations with whom to do corn business.

As to drugs, Fox says the cartel problem exists in the US. He admitted drugs move through Mexico to the US. However, it was the American cartels running the show since the drugs were primarily sold in the US. He could not understand why the US never approached eradicating the drug problem by declaring war on the American cartels.

Fox added that Mexico was opposed to the military deployment along the border that Trump was pursuing in recent days. Not needed, he said

His position basically was that Trump is crazy, does not know what he is doing. Mexico will not be stepped on. He mentioned as evidence that the Mexican Senate very recently passed a resolution calling for suspension of Mexican cooperation with the US re immigration and drug trafficking. Retaliatory to Trump’s moves re tariffs.

Enjoy your day!

 

HEART OF AMERICA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Phil has a home in Tuscany.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We are diametrically opposed politically. Love talking with him!

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

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

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

Enjoy your day!

 

 

TONIGHT…..KATE MIANO FOR MAYOR KICKOFF CAMPAIGN PARTY

The day has arrived. Kate Miano candidate for Key West Mayor. Her campaign kickoff party. Six tonight at The Gardens. Friends, music, food and drink. Everyone come!

People are asking why I support her. Simple. I know her, her character, her business acumen, her concern for others. She is the best of the best. Key West has long been waiting for the type of political leader Kate would make.

See you at the Gardens tonight!

Busy day yesterday. Haircut and manicure. Lunch at Sandy’s Cafe. Cuban cheese toast with tomato and a large Cuban coffee.

Last night, the Chart Room and Tavern ‘n Town.

Kevin was there as I had anticipated. I have not seen him in a few months. Kevin had the misfortune of a scooter accident. All kinds of bad injuries. Twenty four days in intensive care.

He is on the mend. Still a way to go.

Looked good. Lost a lot of weight. One shoulder lower and smaller than the other. His face shiny from the several plastic surgery operations. Several pins in various parts of his body. Appeared a bit tired. Anxious to be on the move, however. He was planning an afternoon bocce party for several of us.

His wife Holly sitting next to him. His pillar, his strength. A strong woman.

Hunger befell me. Stopped at Tavern ‘n Town for dinner. My protein meal. A prime rib. Nothing else. No veggies, etc. Sounds strange, but has been working. Twenty pounds lost so far.

We are experiencing a cold spell. When cold up north, cold in Key West. Sixty one degrees last night.

My air conditioning/heating unit went on the blink yesterday. Going to be completely replaced inside and out. New unit not available till wednesday.

I froze last night. Even under a thick quilt. Will be cold tonight also. The day and evening in the 60’s. Kate’s party will be cold. Long pants and a leather jacket for me.

School attacks always occur somewhere else. You rarely think of them happening at a place you know or where you are.

My home town is Utica. In the heart of central New York. Home of Utica College. Utica College the home of two terroristic threats. One monday, one tuesday. No shooting or bombing. Telephone threats. Violence threatened. Taken by administration and police as “a real credible threat.” Everyone asked to shelter in place.

The perpetrator arrested the second day. A senior student. Twenty three year old Fahriedin Omerovic. He will do time, a long time.

Omerovic used a cell phone app that prevented his identity being discovered. The police a step smarter. They used something that was able to determine who was making the calls.

Trump spoke at a rally on December 1, 2016 in Cincinnati. His words: “We will pursue a new foreign policy that finally learns from the mistakes of the past. We will stop looking to topple regimes and overthrow governments, folks. Our goal is stability, not chaos…..”

Trump’s Budget Funding Request for 2019 has been submitted. He seeks Congressional funding for a 60,000 man army to defeat ISIS in Syria.

Strange. Trump claims the U.S. has defeated ISIS in Syria. He tells us every other day. Considers it one of his major accomplishments.

Experts say the money is not being requested to defeat ISIS. They are already beat. It is to overthrow Assad.

That my friends is regime change. Something he said he would not do. It is also going to pit us head to head against Russia who has been supporting Assad.

I sometimes think Trump wants to be a war President.

Robots should have been a part of the steel conversation. Never mentioned. Trump’s concern for those who lost their jobs because of foreign competition. The unfair balance of trade.

Not quite correct. The two  not really related.

Thirty years ago, the steel industry employed 188,000. Today, 86,000.

One problem, however. No one seems to look at realities. A significant one: The United States produces as much steel today as it did 30 years ago. And does it with less than half the employees of 30 years ago “primarily because of technological advances – or, to oversimplify, robots.” So wrote Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell recently. She further wrote: “Don’t blame China and bad trade deals, Mr. President – blame the robots.”

Remember, The Gardens tonight for Kate’s party!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SUPREME COURT MAY BE MOVING AWAY FROM NRA POSITIONS RE GUNS

I consider the Justice Building Blog one of the finest on the internet. Published once or twice a week. I read it religiously.

The blog is written by someone at the Miami Courthouse. Generally right on re legal issues.

Guns the big news these days. Understandably so. The Justice Building Blog dealt with one phase of the issue in its 2/20/18 publication.

The blog reviewed Justice Clarence Thomas’ 14 page dissent in Sylvester v. Becerra, 583 U.S.__(2018).

The Supreme Court as a whole, except for Thomas, had decided to deny certiorari and not hear the appeal in the Sylvester case. Involved was California’s 10 day waiting period in order to purchase a firearm.

The appellant was a gun owner who already had a firearm and had been earlier approved during a 10 day waiting period for that firearm. Since he was purchasing a second firearm and had already been approved re the first, he felt it was wrong to apply the 10 day waiting period to him.

The Supreme Court, except for Thomas, opted to pass on the issue and not entertain it.

Thomas is considered an NRA supporter.

I do not hold Thomas in high esteem. I have always considered him inept. A mistake on the Court.

Thomas was upset because the Court would not hear and rule on the matter. He wrote a lengthy dissent. An educational one from my perspective. Brought to my attention facts I was unaware off.

The U.S. Supreme Court has not heard a gun case in almost 8 years. Thomas criticized the Court’s “continued direction in this area.” Meaning the Court has not wished to hear gun cases in almost 8 years.

Some other Thomas comments: “The right to keep and bear arms is apparently the Court’s constitutional orphan…..We have not heard argument in a Second Amendment case for nearly eight years…..And we have not clarified the standard for asserting Second Amendment claims for almost 10.”

He compared the Court’s failure as he viewed it comparable to not having heard in many years Third Amendment cases. The Third Amendment involves the prohibition against quartering of soldiers in homes. He also invoked the Eighteenth Amendment which prohibits the sale and manufacture of liquor.

I suspect the Supreme Court has avoided gun cases because it wants federal or state legislatures to move on the issue first.

Burt Bacharach was one of the premier song writers back when. In 1965, he published What The World Needs Now Is Love. Let the tune play through your mind.

The Justice Building Blog ended with a take on Bacharach’s tune. One printed with tongue in cheek I am sure: What The World Needs Now Are Guns, more guns…..not just for some, but for everyone.

A tough emotional day yesterday. I was glued to the TV set. Douglas High School children and others appearing in Tallahassee and Washington. The Washington group with the President.

Moving. The tears flowed freely on occasion.

I want to share some at random thoughts re what I observed.

Initially, I thought the Trump meeting was a political ploy and nothing more. He and the NRA are hand in hand. Turned out differently. I now suspect the President did it with sincerity and sorrow.

The high schoolers and some of the parents spoke with an eloquence even Shakespeare could not have composed. From the heart. Gut feelings. “My daughter is dead. Nine bullets in her body.” “My daughter killed from a bullet in her back which shattered her spine.”

The high schoolers most definitely a sleeping giant awakened. Beware NRA and those who blindly support the NRA for dollars.

The shooting itself the beginning of the end of the NRA.

My fear is Trump will not go far enough. Ban assault weapons should be the first issue up front. An AR-15 only good for two things. War and killing school children.

Trump’s thought that teachers should carry useless. Probably the NRA’s idea. Would sell more guns. What good is a pistol going to be against an AR-15?

Enough for today. No more soap boxing.

Last night Tavern ‘n Town for an early dinner. Then to the Chart Room to watch Syracuse/North Carolina. Syracuse lost 78-74. Came close to winning at the end. Had it all tied up with 1 1/2 minutes left. Blew three chances to win.

North Carolina the superior team. I was impressed that Syracuse came back at the end.

Have to hustle. A haircut with Lori at noon. A manicure with Tammy later in the afternoon. Glad I called Tammy for an appointment yesterday. She leaves on vacation tomorrow.

Enjoy your day!

TWO GREAT COUPLES

Last night unusual. Spent time with two great couples. One I had met last year. The other, new.

I was at Aqua for Dueling Bartenders. Crowded. I was sitting alone at a small table. All of a sudden Tom and Clare Keller appeared. Took me a few seconds. We had met last year.

They joined me.

Tom and Clare new residents to Key West. Closed on a condominium in January. All excited. Properly so.

Both retired. Time to enjoy and play. Life without concern. They are ready.

Tom is a former Washington DC attorney. We have a mutual friend. He knows her much better than I. Former Ambassador Amy Bondourant. An Ambassador under Clinton and Bush 2. Amy and her husband relocated from Paris to Key West last year.

Tom and Amy were law partners in Washington.

Tom and Clare two new friends.

The other couple Kristina and John. I stopped at Tavern ‘n Town on the way home. I had not intended. However, my stomach was growling. Enjoyed my diet prime rib.

Sitting at the bar next to me were Kristina and John. A vacationing couple from Mays Landing, New Jersey. Near Atlantic City. A very enjoyable couple. We talked of many things. From the beauty of Jersey beaches and their bikini clad women to whatever.

Both at with the FAA. Kristina a research manager with drones. Sounded interesting. John not at liberty to tell me what he did.

Married. Two children.

They return home this morning. I can’t wait to meet up with them again next year.

Now back to Aqua and Dueling bartenders.

Terri the guest artist.

Two weeks ago, Terri received favorable news from her cancer hospital in Tampa. She is in remission. Her singing last night exhibited a gusto I attribute to the news. She also danced and pranced about. Terri was a Broadway hoofer as well as singer.

She was singing a love song. Came over and threw her arm around me in what was intended as a hug. It was not. My face became imbedded in her left breast. I could not breathe. She did not know.

Bear at Aqua also. His first time. Only 10 weeks old. What a good boy! Sat under a chair and ignored everyone. Probably scared seeing all the people. A never before event for him.

Donna came in later. She has been dieting. Looked good. Tall and thin.

I met at the Aqua bar last year a man from Utica. Not Utica, NY. Utica, Michigan. He was back last night. This time with an oxygen tube in his nostrils. Made no difference, he was whooping it up at the bar having a good time.

While at the bar at Tavern ‘n Town, Fred Tillman stopped by to say hello. Tillman a Key Wester for years. Owned Kelly’s and two other restaurants for years. He catered Lisa’s wedding.

His outstanding achievement from my perspective were the years he was married to Hollywood actress Kelly McGillis. The Kelly McGillis of Top Gun/Tom Cruise fame. Kelly lived in Key West with Fred and they operated the three restaurants together.

Now, long divorced.

I last saw Fred in December at David Wolkowsky’s 98th birthday party. Go David!

I have spoken of David many times. He is the father of modern Key West. Key West would not have developed as it has were it not for David.

An example is the Pier House. David built the Pier House. A section at a time. On the gulf end of Key West that was nothing but a mud puddle. On this day in 1967, David began construction of the Pier House Motel. A few rooms to become a gigantic resort. Big trees from little acorns grew.

Tonight, Lynda Frechette’s Aqua Idol. Five thirty at Aqua. Singing galore. A fundraiser for Lynda’s beloved Waterfront Playhouse.

Mary Lou Hoover busier than normal. She is running for Key West Commissioner. She will be the best Commissioner ever! Her campaign kick-off is February 26 at Salute’s.

Tonight, my podcast. What I describe as an internet radio show. You can see my picture and hear my voice. Nothing moves. Somewhat similar to radio.

I am into my third year. Impressed. I have advertisers. Not solicited by me. They come because of the size of my listening audience. Two of my favorites are GEICO, Ins. and Old Navy.

Showtime tonight is 9. The show a quick moving half hour. I talk about everything. A lot of politics. I am a political junkie.

My opinion generally shared. Love being able to share my thoughts on an issue without concern or permission.

Join me. Guaranteed you will enjoy. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!

TRUMP NOT MAN ENOUGH FOR LISTENING SESSION WITH DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS

The kids from Parkland’s Douglas High School are tough. The buck stops with them! They appear committed to bringing the gun issue to a head.

Trump hears their cries. He has to do something. His nature.

It was announced yesterday that the President plans listening sessions this week with students and teachers. The announcement did not say what students and teachers.

Those from Douglas High School where 17 were killed? I doubt it. The students would make him look foolish. For two reasons. First, from the mouth of children comes truth. Second, the students know bullshit when they hear it.

The confrontation would be interesting.

I do not believe it will occur, however. A losing proposition for Trump. He would come out of it looking bad.

I believe that where ever and with whom ever the listening sessions will be held will be from another area. Trump will be working at rigging the meeting.

Remember rigged from the election?

Staying with the Douglas High School shooting a moment longer, there is a need for blood. O negative.

Enough blood was available to care for the injured victims. The supply is now tapped out. A request has gone forth to anyone who should wish to donate to help replenish O negative. Instructions direct traveling to their usual donation sites to give.

The AR-15 rifle in the news other than in Parkland.

Levi Patterson coaches a 9 and under baseball team in Nesoho, Missouri. Third graders. The team needs to raise money. The father of one of the players sells guns. He donated an AR-15 rifle for a raffle prize.

The team players, age 7-9, are selling the raffle tickets.

Coach Patterson sees no problem with the AR-15 being used. He believes people think differently about guns in his area. In effect, the AR-15 is ok.

Tyler Tannahill is a Kansas Congressional candidate. A month ago, he decided to have a giveaway contest. Someone to win an AR-15 rifle.

Douglas occurred last week. Tannahill refuses to withdraw the AR-15 as the prize. He is a passionate defender of gun rights.

Sometimes we see the same person over a period of several years and yet  never get to know their names, etc. Always a smile and cheerful hello in passing.

My situation with one of the concierges at the Marriott Beachside.

We discovered each other on a more personal basis yesterday.

My photo and announcement of Irma and I covered the front page of KONK Life last week. The concierge called out to me yesterday morning by name. She said she had not known it before, but had seen my pic and read the article. Told me she has begun reading my blog.

Her name, Toni Tarracino. Last name sound familiar? She is one of the daughters of now deceased Captain Tony. Key West Mayor, saloon keeper, icon, etc. Toni proudly told me she is known as Little Toni.

My day began with the stop at the Marriott Beachside. Followed by a business lunch at the Geiger Key Marina. At noon, hardly a seat. No question the season has arrived.

Back to my home. I had no hot water. A two day wait for a plumber. Called a friend who stopped over. Problem resolved in 15 minutes. After two days and three cold showers, it was a pleasure later in the afternoon to enjoy a hot one.

Last night, the Gardens. A comfortable way to finish sunday.

Many people.

Ran into Jenna Stauffer. A love of my life for 10 years. Jenna was the producer for the TV show I did for three years. She was all bubbly and excited. Just returned from Paris.

Also ran into June Hudson. A couple of years since we have seen each other. Unchanged. Charming and lovely.

Stopped at Tavern ‘n Town for a late dinner. A rack of lamb. Nothing else. Diet still holding at 19 pounds.

Iguanas are an exotic species. Look like small dragons. To Key West residents, disgusting.

The iguanas are not native. They started their invasion about 15 years ago. Now, all over the island.

They deficate all over, including in the pools. They eat your expensive planted flowers.

They fear not. You can walk up to one and it will not move.

All of a sudden, the State has become aware there is an iguana problem. Don’t know where the State has been. However the State does not wish them killed. The State has scheduled clinics to advise how to capture and arrange for their removal to another part of the State.

Capture and remove? How stupid. Authorize their killing.

A State representative said, “We do not know the extent of the threat.” Live here and you will know. They are all over the place.

The State should recall how it handled the python invasion. Too little, too late. Now number in excess of 1 million. They can only be controlled, not eradicated.

Can you imagine 1 million plus iguanas? They will be living in our homes. Laugh not.

Dueling Bartenders tonight at Aqua.

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!

 

WHO IS THE FAIREST OF THEM ALL?

The woman who uttered the words while looking in a mirror…..Who is the fairest of them all? The Wicked Queen. Snow White, the response.

So began Walt Disney’s great film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The animated movie made its film debut this day in 1938.

An instant hit! Quickly grossed $8 million. Big bucks in 1938. The $8 million represented the most money made by a film up to that time.

I saw the movie in 1938. My mother took me. I was 3 years old. We watched it at the Rialto Theater in Utica. Two movies were shown in those days for the price of one ticket. I recall the other film, also. Gunga Din.

The seven dwarfs blew me away. The Wicked Witch scared me at the beginning of the film. A mean looking woman.

Of all the dwarfs, Dopey received the most accolades. Charlie Chaplin said that Walt Disney “created in him one of the greatest comediennes of all time.”

Watched Syracuse go down to defeat yesterday. Lost to Virginia 59-44.

I hurt when Syracuse loses. I especially hurt this year for Jim Boeheim. A class act. In his last years as a coach.

I know Boeheim personally. We initially came together because of the University. I was a heavy contributor. It was sort of a requirement that he play golf with me once or twice a year. His club in Syracuse, mine in Utica.

At first, I was embarrassed. Boeheim was a 2 handicap. Me, a 35 plus. He never complained. Spent time in the woods helping me look for my ball, etc. Even took the time on occasion to recommend a change in swing or grip. Teaching as he does with his players during a game.

Unfortunately, I was a hopeless cause.

Tavern ‘n Town for dinner last night. I had planned on a quick one. Turned into 3 hours.

Sat at the bar next to Jill and Steve.

Vacationing from the Point Pleasant area in New Jersey. Both avid fisherman, especially Steve. They have a 62 foot custom made fisherman. Steve understood what I meant when I said he considered fishing a battle of man against nature.

Jill can only be described as an enthusiastic conversationalist. She kept me glued to my seat.

Jill has been involved with Johnson and Johnson for 25 years as part of its vision care division. Contact lenses and contact solution. She is a top sales performer.

Steve, a demolition contractor. I did not have the opportunity to talk with Steve that much. I would have been interested in what he did as a demolition contractor. A wrecking company? I worked for one the summer between high school and college. The hardest job I ever had! I started at 7 in the morning and was exhausted by 7:05. A bit of an exaggeration. Believe you get the point, however.

If I had any thought of not going to college, that job remedied it.

An Irma update. Debris removal continues to be a problem. Irma hit September 10. It has taken that long and will take longer to collect the trees, shrubbery, busted up homes, trailers, etc. piled on roadsides.

The Lower Keys of concern. Upper Sugarloaf, Lower Sugarloaf, Ramrod, and Summerland Keys completed. A final pass will be made this coming week to Cudjoe, Little Torch, Big Pine, and No Name Keys.

Other problems still exist. Some remain without housing. Families still living in tents. Food and water in short supply. FEMA rebuilding money coming in slowly.

Harry Truman. Harry Truman loved Key West and Key West loves Harry Truman. He spent 175 days covering 11 separate trips enjoying Key West. The Admiral’s quarters where he stayed renamed the Harry Truman Little White House.

The first time Truman visited Key West he had a bad cold he could not get rid of. His doctor recommended a “heart starter bourbon drink.” The prescription, bourbon and orange juice. Between the bourbon and sun, Truman recovered quickly.

Presidents Day Weekend around the corner. Friday to sunday February 16-18. Part of the celebration includes a bourbon and barbecue cook off.

Super Bowl today! Game time 6:30 on NBC. Love it!

I have been invited to several parties. Normally, I would watch the game a Don’s Place. I have already decided I will watch the game alone at home. The reason being my diet. I would drink a bit too much and definitely eat too much were I out.

I started with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs which opened in movie houses this date in 1938. I close with another art form. the written word. On this day in 1826, James Fenimore Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans was published.

Cooper was born, raised and spent most of his life in what is Cooperstown, NY. The Home of the Baseball Hall of Fame, also.

His home stands to this day. Known as the James Fenimore Cooper House, aka James Fenimore Cooper Museum.

Cooperstown is a mere 40 miles from Utica. I have visited theHouse many times. Professionally and socially.

The House sits on a modest hill overlooking lovely Otsego Lake. The House can only be described as magnificent! Cooper’s father built it.

He was a man of means. His son never really worked, other than his writings. He considered himself a gentleman’s farmer which meant servitude was not part of his life style.

Cooperstown when the father Cooper built it and during the years his son lived there was the frontier. Initially, nothing west of Cooperstown.

The frontier life and Indians making up The Last of the Mohicans accordingly familiar to Cooper when he began writing the book.

Enjoy your Sunday! Enjoy the Super Bowl!

 

 

DESTRUCTION FROM WITHIN

Wisdom from the lips of Abraham Lincoln: “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”

So much for what is going on in Washington.

Monday night is Dueling Bartenders time at Aqua! There I was sitting with Liz and Mary enjoying the singings of Tom Luna and Rick Dery.

Liz looked her best in a long time. She has been recovering from several illnesses. A sparkling woman at 83. A new hairdo. No more cane. Like being born again!

Then to Tavern ‘n Town for my Atkins diet meal. A juicy prime rib. Nothing else. No veggies,etc. Seventeen pounds lost so far. Next level, 20.

Glad I stopped at Tavern ‘n Town. Met Pam. A major fan of my writings. We had never met before. Seriously excited. I was afraid she was going to have a heart attack!

Pam, it  was my honor to meet you. May we run into each other again!

Pam was with Paul. And Lynda and Bob Frechette. Lynda introduced me to Pam. The four were having dinner together.

I was seated at the bar. Heard Louis from behind me. It was Aaron and Karen. On their way to the Randy Roberts show at the Tennessee Williams Theater.

One more. As I was finishing my coffee. Melissa Kendrick. I have not seen Melissa in a couple of years. Melissa is the President/CEO of the Mel Fisher Museum.

She was excited. Properly so.

On August 8, 2010, a gold bar valued at $550,000 was stolen from the Museum. The thief or thieves never apprehended. Till the past few days.

Melissa told me she had received a call during the day from the authorities. The thieves had been caught. One in West Palm Beach. The other, Rio Linda, California.

No word yet as to whether the gold bar had been retrieved.

The gold bar was an important exhibit. People could touch and lift it. The bar was secured in such a fashion it could not be stolen. It was.

The bar was discovered in 1980 by Mel Fisher. It was from the Santa Margarita. The Santa Margarita sunk in a 1622 hurricane off the Florida Keys.

As I was sitting at the bar, I marveled at what I saw.

Getting old and looking old are two different things. For example, some at 80 look 60. Others at 80 look like they are ready for the grave.

An elderly couple were dancing by the bar. For the whole hour and a half I was there. One song after another. Rarely sat. If they did, only for a sip or two of wine.

Looked 100! Old and bent. Dressed today, however. The lady in shorts. The man’s clothes up to date sporty.

The two obviously enamored. The touchings, holdings and smiles.

They knew all the dance moves. Especially the woman.

God bless them! May we all achieve what they have. The ability and desire to dance and enjoy our way through the years.

The William Tell overture in the background, the masked man on his horse shouting “Hi-yo, Silver! Away!”

The Lone Ranger!

I knew the Lone Ranger, his Indian friend Tonto and horse Silver from the radio till the late 1950’s. Then television into the late 1960’s. My children as children, the 1960’s shows.

I mention the Lone Ranger because today is the birthday of the show. It debuted this day in 1933 on a Detroit radio station. The Lone Ranger became one of the most popular western heroes of the 20th century.

He personified all that was good and noble. He did not smoke, swear, or drink alcohol. He used grammatically correct speech. He never shot to kill.

Television was relatively new in the early 1950’s. The Lone Ranger became ABC’s biggest hit.

Key West has a Tonto. A different sex from the Lone Ranger’s Tonto. I have known her 20 years. She works the outside bar at La Te Da.

Trump’s State of the Union at 8 this evening. My podcast at 9. I suspect my podcast will be more interesting. I will be listening to the State of the Union address, never the less.

Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou at 9 this evening my time. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou. Interesting topics. Some eye opening revealing. A fast moving half hour show.

Grab a drink, sit back and enjoy.

The best of days to you!

 

 

SHRIMP BOATS IS A-COMIN’

Blog writing is interesting. Takes me to all kinds of places. Yesterday, world events. Today, primarily Key West. Some days, a mixture.

Whatever moves me at the moment.

Lunched at Hogfish yesterday with Guy de Boer. Guy publishes KONK Life. He has graciously agreed to run a photo of me and my Irma book in KONK Life. The whole front page!

Guy picked Hogfish for lunch. He wanted to get a photo of me and the shrimp boats together. Why shrimp boats, I do not know. My connection with shrimp boats next to nil.

The nil has a bit of substance.

First, the song. Shrimp Boats. A 1951 hit sung by the popular vocalist Jo Stafford. It was co-written by her husband Paul Weston.

The words come back every time I see a shrimp boat: Shrimp boats is a-comin’ / Their sails are in sight / Shrimp boats is a-comin’ / There’s dancin’ tonight…..

I was 15 years old the first time I heard Shrimp Boats. We were visiting family in the Bronx. I was outside standing in front of a then typical New York City candy store with a bunch of other teenagers. The location, 141st Street.

The song came out of a radio in the candy store. The others began humming and quietly singing the tune. I had never heard it before. The tune was catchy. Later in high school, I danced to ShrimpBoats.

Rarely thought of the tune after that till the mid 1990’s when I started visiting Key West. There were shrimp boats in Key West!

I learned that when you saw tons of them on the horizon off South Roosevelt Boulevard, they were hurrying in to avoid a coming storm. That was the moment. That was the picture. Such gave meaning to Shrimp boats is a-comin’ / Their sails are in sight.

Me, Irma and the shrimp boats will appear in KONK Life in the next week or two.

Last night the Chart Room. A good time. John bartending. David came in. Good conversation.

A while later, Jean Thornton’s two visiting sisters arrived with their men.

The Chart Room was off and running!

Stopped at Tavern ‘n Town on the way home. Another prime rib. I lost 5 pounds in the past 10 days. Why, I do not know. I have been on this diet since November 27. Lost 10 pounds the first two weeks. Not another pound till 10 days ago. Were it not that I was losing inches, I would have given up long ago.

Not the blind leading the blind. But, sort of. My lesbian wives Donna and Terri left yesterday by car for Tampa. Terri to undergo two days of serious testing at the cancer facility that replaced all her bone marrow and blood.

The tests important.

Donna broke her left shoulder a few days ago. Her left arm is wrapped tight to her chest. She is driving. Terri cannot drive more than a 100 miles at a time. They have broken the trip down so it will take 3 days to reach Tampa.

I mentioned in my tuesday night podcast Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou that the election of a person such as Trump served as encouragement for other crazies to run for public office.

It is happening in Missouri.

Senator Claire McCaskill is running for reelection. The word is she has a tough race ahead.

Several seek the Republican nomination to run against her. One is Courtland Sykes.

What I am about to relate was printed in a St. Louis newspaper in September. An interview. Sykes ran the interview on Facebook a few days ago where I found it.

If he is the Republican candidate, it will be a battle of the sexes.

Sykes is not married. He is engaged.

Following is what he expects from his fiance when she is his wife and his thoughts regarding women.

  1. When he arrives home in the evening, he expects his dinner on the table at 6. Prepared by his wife.
  2. Their daughters must learn to cook. He wants them raised to be traditional homemakers and family wives.
  3. His home is to be a Norman Rockwell world.
  4. Feminism is radical. Its definition crazy.
  5. Women have “snake filled heads.”
  6. He does not want his daughters growing up to be “career obsessed banshees” who forego home life and children to become “manophobic hell-beat feminist she devils.”
  7. Hillary Clinton’s loss a clear indication that radical feminists have been defeated.
  8. He claims he is fully supportive of women and he did not believe his statements demeaning to them.
  9. He conceded some women have amazing careers. He complimented them. The examples he gave of two such women were Kellyanne Conway and Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Said they should be celebrated.
  10. Big media. Big media has become “too many dumb blondes and too many leg dangles.”
  11. Feminism represents the “radical drug and communal happy-visioned 1960’s.”
  12. He supported and defended Roy Moore.

Enjoy your day!