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

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

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

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

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

Emalyn, a hero.

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

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

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

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

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

It appeared the nation was against him.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy your day!

BARTENDER JOHN…..CITIZEN OF THE DAY

I mention John Holster often. The Chart Room bartender. Top notch bartender. Knows how to handle and entertain customers.

My friend.

John has been honored! By the Key West Citizen. He is Citizen of the Day. His picture and a few lines below appear at the bottom of today’s edition at page 3.

Congratulations, John!

Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest. It was for me yesterday. Laziness permeated my being till I left the house at 6.

Drove to Hot Dog Church. Not for services. Much too late. To meet Donna and Terri. They were the only patrons left at the Back Door. Laurie bartending and chatting with them.

I like Laurie. A straight forward no bullshit person.

I was about 2 hours late. My laziness the blame.

We had a couple of drinks and Donna, Terri and I headed out to dinner. Hogfish.

Sometimes I enjoy hogfish, sometimes not. Yesterday was a day I did. The hogfish outstanding! My guess is the quality of a hogfish meal depends on who is cooking.

Here it was the middle of the summer and Hogfish was packed. Occasionally, some had a brief wait for a table.

Hemingway Days begin this week. A big time!

Hemingway Days is a clean healthy event. Partying up and down Duval. The crowd a different breed.

I look forward to some of the activities. Especially the Run of the Bulls and the Hemingway Look Alike Contest.

Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea was published in 1952. Inspiration for parts and characters primarily from Cuba, Key West and San Francisco.

The fisherman Santiago  had many thoughts and some conversation with Manolin re his hero Joe DiMaggio. DiMaggio suffered trials and tribulations as Santiago had. In the end, he accomplished great things.

For Santiago who had not caught a fish in more than 80 days, it was to catch the big one.

DiMaggio was Santiago’s inspiration.

Some believe that Hemingway drew on DiMaggio’s father for the character Santiago. Very few. If true, it would be because DiMaggio’s father was a Sicilian fisherman before immigrating to the United States and continued for a period of time to be a fisherman in the San Francisco Bay area.

Another writing giant who lived in Key West was Tennessee Williams. On this day in 1975, Anthony Quinn met with Williams in Key West. Quinn a fine actor. His greatness still a few years away.

Williams had written the play The Red Devil Battery Sign. Quinn starred in it. The play did not go over well. Closed on Broadway after one week.

Quinn was visiting Williams to see if the play could be revived. The play subsequently was in Vancouver and London. Though not with Quinn in the starring role and only a bit more success than had been achieved in New York.

Interestingly, Pierce Brosnan, then a young actor, starred in the leading role in the London revival.

Poor Venezuela!

I have been following Venezuela and its President Nicholas Maduro for four years. Ever since Maduro took office and Venezuela ran out of toilet paper within one year. Four years later and Venezuela still does not have an adequate supply of toilet paper. High infation, no jobs and no food, also.

I consistently ask why the Venezuelan people do not revolt. Yesterday, an informal referendum was held. Note the word informal. The vote had no binding effect.

Maduro wanted a new constitution. One which would guarantee his remaining in office. More than 7 million voted against Maduro’s plan. An overwhelming vote.

Will anything come of the result? Time will tell. However, I doubt it. For some reason, the people are reluctant/afraid to put guns, sticks and stones in their hands and attack the palace.

Enjoy your day!

SYPHILIS IN KEY WEST

Syphilis is a venereal disease of old. A cure available. A quick one. Penicillin. The disease still around, however. Just not in significant numbers.

Six months ago, Key West had no syphilis cases. Recently, 10. An epidemic of sorts.

Nine of the 10 involve 18 and 19 year old males. Recent high school graduates. The final one a much older male.

Investigation revealed the 9 young ones got the disease post-graduation.

Authorities advised the infection not necessarily gay acquired.

The matter remains under investigation. The initial Key West source of the infection and others who may be infected.

Some things just never go away.

I have two pair of horn rimmed glasses. Thirty or more years old. Lens replaced, never the frames. Love the frames! Cost $700 each when purchased. Think I got my money’s worth.

One of the frames broke. Old age probably. I took the glasses to Key West Optical yesterday. Located in the gray shopping center on Kennedy and Flagler.

They were able to fix the frame! No guaranty how long the repair will last. Whatever, I am thrilled. I am wearing the glasses at the moment.

Key West Optical good people. Not the first time I have gone in for a repair. Always happy to help. Always no charge.

Moved on to K-Mart. Need a small table and stool. Did not have the size I needed. I want to move my video show outside. The background would be magnificent.

Then to Don’s Place. No room in the parking lot or street. Did not get to stop. No disappointment. I will see my Don’s Place / bocce friends tonight at bocce.

The Chart Room the next stop. Chatted with John a bit.

Steve Kelly seated next to me at the bar. Mid-50s. From West Chester, Pennsylvania. With his friend Pete. Both staying at the Pier House. Prior Key West visitors.

Steve and I hit it off immediately. A lot in common. An interesting conversation.

Steve is in a family business. His Mom and Dad started it. He runs it now. His son works with him and will take over when Steve walks away.

The business involves sporting goods. Athletic equipment. Called Kelly’s Sports. Sells directly to public and private institutions, as well as the public. University, colleges, and private schools. Sells also to booster clubs, parent organizations and fan clubs.

A big operation. One hundred employees. We laughed about payroll.

Steve and his son have been moving the business into internet sales. The wave of the future that is already here.

Easily observable was that Steve is proud of the business. His third generation family business.

I have been on a diet. Nothing even close to heavy. Yogurt and cottage cheese. Needed a steak last night. A small one. Stopped at Outback for their 6 ounce filet mignon and steamed vegetables. Like I had not eaten in several days. I had not!

Watched McDonald’s All American High School Basketball on TV. Some of the kids are good. They know it. You can see it in their faces.

My grandson John played on a Niki All American Team eight years ago. I traveled to see him. Think it was Charlotte. John was good. Not Division 1 good. He played at Albany State for four years. Captained the team in his senior year.

John is now in his last year of law school.

Moving back to the afternoon for a moment, I did some legal research. An issue I wanted to resolve. I felt like a lawyer again.

Skipper Kripitz is one of the most loved persons in Key West. Also, one of its best musicians. Skipper plays the drums.

He arranges the Tuesday night show at Virgilio’s. Always a sell out. This coming Tuesday the Savage Beets.

I read a write up on the show. Skipper was described as ubiquitous. A big word. Smart as I think I am, I did not know what it meant. Looked it up. Defined as found everywhere. Applies to Skipper. He is all over town playing.

Tennessee Williams and Ernest Hemingway in my life the past 24 hours.

I could not sleep during the night. Watched an old movie on TV. The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone. I have seen the movie at least a dozen times. The story and setting turn me on. Filmed in Rome.

Tennessee William’s in the credits. First time I noted it. Williams wrote the novel from which the movie was made.

The Ernest Hemingway tale disturbs me. Love Ernest Hemingway!

A Nicholas Reynolds wrote a new book: Writer, Sailor, Soldier: Ernest Hemingway’s Secret Adventures, 1935-1961.

The book sacrilegious in part.

Reynolds writes Hemingway was a Russian spy 1940-41. Doing espionage for the Soviet Union. Worked with the NKVD, predecessor to the KGB. His cover name Argo.

Attempted to verify the representation. Hard to do. A prior book written in 2009 suggested the same, but indicated Hemingway probably did it to get background for a novel.

I did not have time to research further. Patrick, if the subject interests you, do a little digging and let me know what you come up with.

Have to hustle. A haircut appointment.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

LlCENCE TO KILL / JEFFERSON STARSHIP / CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF

Recollections refreshed.

Key West happenings.

James Bond. A small part of the 1989 movie Licence to Kill was filmed in Key West. The rear area of 707 South Street. A wedding reception. Bond a guest.

The home recently sold for $5 million.

Tennessee Williams again. On this day in 1955, Cat On a Hot Tin Roof opened in New York City. An instantaneous hit. Won Williams his second Pulitzer Prize.

Jefferson Starship. An American rock band. The group has been around since 1974. Not all members the same. As time moved on, older performers dropped out to be replaced by new performers.

Jefferson Starship is performing at the Key West Theater sunday. On the saturday before at 3 pm, a free greet and meet is being held at the Gates Hotel. You must be a ticket holder to attend.

Spent my yesterday researching.

Visited Tammy at 6 for a manicure. Tammy her usual charming self. For a 34 year old, she is wise beyond her years. Has to be her Asian background.

Then to bocce. All of 10 minutes.

It suddenly got dark. A huge black cloud moved over us. Cell phone weather inquiries showed a huge green mass beginning to move over the lower keys.

At the same time, the wind blew up. Not a simple 20 mph. More! Much more! Dirt and sand swirling.

Everyone ran for their cars to get out.

Most of my group headed for Don’s Place. I decided to go straight home. I do not enjoy driving on US 1 when the rain is so heavy it is difficult to see.

Beat the rain home. Beat the rain in its entirety. The wind blew for a while. The rain never came. This morning, I looked outside to see if it had rained during the night. No. Everything dry.

Key West weather strange. Storms hit quickly. People are wise. They get inside quickly. Wind and rain not a pleasant sea shore combination.

Enjoy your day!

 

HIS WORDS AND LETTERS…..SPECIAL

Two years ago, I wrote an article for KONK Life involving Tennessee Williams and Frank Merlo. Merlo was the love of Williams’ life. The relationship tender and then tumultuous.

Tennessee Williams’ birthday is being celebrated this month. Many activities. One last night at Studios of Key West. His Words and Letters. Words and letters written to Williams’ closest female friend, Maria Britneva. Substantially involving the Williams/Merlo relationship.

Merlo’s influence on Williams is reflected in the fact that Williams wrote his finest works during their time together. Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, Rose Tattoo, and Night of the Iguana.

I thoroughly enjoyed the evening. A production well done.

Williams also wrote The Glass Menagerie. The Glass Menagerie was playing across the street at the Key West Theater while I was enjoying His Words and Letters.

Prior to the Williams’ show, I enjoyed La Concha’s happy hour while browsing the Sunday newspapers.

One of the items mentioned in yesterday’s Key West Lou video on Facebook involved outhouses. Details immaterial here. Final video comment was that Hemingway had the first indoor plumbing in Key West. Put in his home on Whitehead when he purchased it in 1931.

Bad day at Black Rock. Two basketball giants felled at the NCAA Tournament. Louisville and Duke.

So it goes

Congressional hearings begin today re Russia’s interfering in a U.S. Presidential election. Not the first time. Occurred once before. The election of 1796.

John Adams and Alexander Hamilton running for President. Great Britain and France had just concluded a war against each other. Bad feelings rampant in each country.

For some reason, U.S. support was important to each nation. John Adams, with the support of George Washington, backed Great Britain. Hamilton, France. Hamilton’s position was that France’s assistance during the Revolution mandated U.S. support.

France threatened open warfare with the United States if U.S. support was not forthcoming.

Adams was elected President. No war occurred.

I mentioned yesterday that Florida reported the screwworm problem was no more. A tried and true process had defeated the maggot type insects. The release of sterile screwworm flies. One hundred forty million since October.

Jean a female loggerhead turtle found sick in December. Taken to Marathon’s Turtle Hospital. She was impacted.

The hospital named her Jean. Cared for Jean till friday. A recovered Jean was released back into the ocean at Sombrero Beach.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

THE WALL…..BILLIONS OF YOUR TAX DOLLARS

Recall Trump’s words during the campaign…..We are going to build a wall and Mexico is going to pay for it.

Government contract notices listed on a federal website ask for proposals for construction of the wall by March 29. The wall to be 30 feet high.

Trump’s budget as sent to Congress requests monies this year. Tax dollar monies to commence construction of the wall. Described as a down payment. $2.6 billion.

Allocated between a pedestrian wall and vehicle barrier. Broken down, $6.5 million a mile for the pedestrian fence and $1.8 million a mile for the vehicle barrier.

Estimated cost for the entire project vary depending who is being asked. Anywhere from $12-21 billion.

I thought Mexico was going to pay for the wall. Trump has changed his tune. We are going to build and pay for it and then pursue Mexico for reimbursement.

Good luck!

The Syracuse basketball season ended yesterday. Syracuse lost to Ole Miss 85-80. I’m glad it’s over. Most of the games were painful to watch.

I watched yesterday’s game. Same story. We did not have it together. Took forever to make the first three pointer. Defense not what it should have been. Etc.

Villanova lost! Wow! Winner of the Final Four last year. Number 1 seed overall this year. Wisconsin beat Villanova 65-62. Such is the beauty of the NCAA Tournament. You never know when a lesser team is going to be up enough to beat a favorite.

Villanova was my choice for #1. Saw the team as the big winner.

Dee took me to dinner last night at Berlin’s. Two pound Maine lobsters. Delicious!!!

Dee just returned from Bali. Interesting stories to tell.

The William Hackley saga continues. His 8 day clock was not working. Would run down before 8 days up and was not keeping accurate time. He brought it to be repaired.

The verbiage immediately brought to mind 5 Day Deodorant Pads. Such was the name of a deodorant that hit the market in the early 1950s. Small circular pads soaked with deodorant.

I was in high school when 5 Day became popular. Used it. Did I use a deodorant before? Don’t recall. I do not think many, if any, used deodorant till the early 1950s.

Did we all have body odor before deodorant became popular? I do not recall.

Another interesting question was whether people did not daily bathe back then. Otherwise, why the 5 Day name? My mother made sure I took a bath every day. We did not have a shower.

The Studios of Key West has an interesting show scheduled for 8 tonight. I hope to make it.

It will be a reading and discussion of Tennessee Williams’ love letters.

Williams was gay. Had several lovers over the years. One was Frank Merlo. I wrote a column for KONK Life two years ago re the relationship. I thought Merlo to be the greatest love of Williams’ life. Williams wrote his best works during the 14 years they lived together in Williams’ Key West home and a New York City apartment.

The greatest love theory was mine. I am curious what I will hear this evening.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced that the recent battle with screwworms has been won. The flesh eating maggot problem eradicated.  Florida’s deer population, among others, saved. Especially the little deer living in Big Pine and on Little Deer Key.

Credit be given where credit due, Florida is on top these things.

Two significant Key West events March 25.

The last season tour of the Key West Cemetery. Three separate tours that day. Make a reservation. Always crowded. Attend if you never have. The history of Key West reflected on the stones. Also, some interesting quips by the deceased. My favorite is…..I told you I was sick.

Equality Florida is having its 20th Annual Gala. From 5:30 to 8:00. At the Gardens Hotel. A perfect venue for the event.

Equality Florida is Florida’s largest and most powerful gay rights organization.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

EARLIER ERA DISCRIMINATION

Racial discrimination an in your face item today. Trump’s attempts to limit/stop Muslim immigration an example.

Today, it is Muslims. At another time, the Chinese. The year 1888. On this date in 1888, the U.S. passed a law forbidding Chinese laborers from entering America. Note the word “laborers.” Merchants, extra smart persons and seafarers not included.

California was the tender spot. Over 100,000 had come in. The Anglo cry was they were taking up the white man’s jobs and causing wages to be low.

By 1888, some Chinese had become successful. They owned and operated laundries and restaurants. Both considered women’s work up to that time.

The U.S. continued to discriminate against and exclude laboring Chinese till 1943. The middle of World War II. The Chinese were our ally and such blatant racism could not be permitted to continue.

Spent a little time yesterday reading about turtles and the Florida Keys. A tale of love.

Sloan came by mid afternoon. I called her. Needed her. I wanted to improve on my new Go Live videos on Facebook. Two problems. Quickly resolved.

Big night! Jenna at Berlin’s. We had not seen each other for several weeks. It was catch up time.

Jenna is absolutely amazing. Her professional life continues to develop. Her income accompanies the success.

She was excited I was doing FB videos. She was watching them. She quickly shared with me two things I could do to make the videos better. Love her!

Compared to Jenna, I am a rank amateur when it comes to social media, FB, video, etc.

She shared with me a recent exciting experience.

Jenna has been running the past year. I should be so thin! She has competed in several 5Ks. Comes in 1st or in the top 5.

She works out with Dante. Another thin creature. His abs pronounced.

Jenna ran a short video on FB of her and Dante standing waiting to run. Eleven thousand views! Wow! Even she was surprised. She could not figure out why the video became instantaneously hot.

Would I love to have 11,000 views!

Bria stopped by. Lovely! Enjoyed her singing afterwards.

Tennessee Williams time.

This afternoon at 2 at the Tennessee Williams Gallery at 513 Truman, a talk about the making of The Rose Tattoo. Starred Anna Mangani and Burt Lancaster. Filmed in Key West in a house 2 doors from Williams’ home. The movie based on a Tennessee Williams story.

One week from today at The Studios of Key West, a presentation involving Williams and Frank Merlo. Williams and Merlo were lovers. They lived together in Key West and elsewhere for years. I believe their love letters the basis of the show.

I wrote about the Tennessee Williams and Frank Merlo relationship in an article in KONK Life three years ago. The emphasis was on the influence that Merlo had on Williams life and writing.

The State of Florida took like a 100 years to complete the reconstruction of North Roosevelt Boulevard. The State screwed up re the cross walks. How to long to spell out. If you live in Key West, you know.

Too many accidents at the crosswalks. Serious injuries the result.

The State has been screwing around about correcting the situation. Nothing definite from them.

City officials are trying again. The State has to come in and fix. It is a State highway. Even if the State agrees, I can tell you it will be an additional 2-3 years to get to it because of funding. Not in the budget or proposed budget.

Harry Truman loved Key West and Key West loves Harry Truman. On this date 1950, the President arrived in Key West for a one month vacation. A working one. At the Little White House.

I am fortunate to live on this island. Warm most of the time. Experienced enough snow while living up north.

New York City got hit by a major snow storm in 1888. Began this date. Forty inches in 36 hours. The City was isolated for days. An example being that messages to Boston had to be routed through England.

Here I go again with robots and autonomous intelligence. It is not sneaking upon us. It has. And no one is talking about where those human employees being replaced by robots, etc. will work.

The issue is not bringing jobs back from Europe, Asia and Mexico. Such an issue 20 years ago. Over the next 3-4 years, it will be the robots taking over.

And no one talks about it. Not even Trump who professes to know everything.

California plans to permit no driver vehicles on its highways by the end of the year. No steering wheel, no pedals, no driver.

A biggie beginning at 5:30 today. The NCAA Selection Show. I do not expect Syracuse to be selected.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

THE AWARD GOES TO…..

I am old school. I enjoy the Academy Awards.

Last night turned out to be a bit of a disappointment. Not because of the Academy Awards. Because of Comcast.

My TV screen went dead following the Award for Best Supporting Actress. My computer was non-operational also. Both  services bundled with Comcast.

I was stripped from the world of information. Totally.

Went to sleep at 1. Still no TV. Comcast had a recording advising it might take 24 hours to correct a problem it was experiencing

I woke at 4. Had left the TV on. It was up and running.

Took me till 5 to find out who won the other awards. I missed one of the biggest screw ups in Academy history. The wrong card being opened to announce Best Movie.

It all worked out well in the end. La La Land had a minute of glory. Something they can talk about for years. Moonlight received its just due, though a few minutes late.

Sloan was over at noon. We worked on increasing Go Live’s coverage. Not easy.

Syracuse/Louisville. A disaster. Louisville won 88-68.

Key West will be celebrating Tennessee Williams in March. For the whole month. Williams’ birthday is March 26.

Many events planned. Among others, Tropic Cinema will be showing Williams’ classic screen films on March 6, 13 and 20.

Another weekend of anti-Semetism. More than 100 Jewish tombstones tipped over at the Jewish Mt. Carmel Cemetery in Philadelphia.

It should be noted that many Muslims helped in lifting the stones to their correct positions.

A 1 pm heart doctor appointment. Get my test results.

Enjoy your day!

 

I FOUND MY BIRTH MOTHER

I found my birth mother. A touching statement. Made not by me, but by another.

Let me share her story.

I was in Aqua last night watching Dueling Bartenders. Jean and Joe Thornton there, also. Jean introduced me to her sister. I was not aware Jean had a sister. A half sister. Her name Laura.

Jean was 37 when she received a telephone call from Laura. Laura then 25. Jean did not know she had a sister. Laura said, I am your sister, I am looking for our mother.

Jean was in Birmingham at the time. Laura in Nashville.

Their mother had not made Jean aware she had given birth to another child when Jean was 12 years old.

Laura was taken in by another family and eventually adopted by another.

Laura told Jean she wanted to meet her mother and Jean. Jean made the necessary arrangements and in due course the three met. Their Mother told Jean she had kept the birth secret.

A glorious meeting. Tears and joy. A unit since.

Laura is in key West visiting. She will be here till the end of the month. She now resides in Louisville.

Laura told me she refers to the woman who adopted/raised her as her Mom and her discovered mother as her birth mother.

Jean and Laura loving sisters. So they appeared and acted. Jean could not wait to introduce her sister to me.

God is good. He provided the path and determination for Laura to successfully discover her birth mother and sister.

A lucky threesome.

While still at Aqua, a lovely young lady approached and asked if I was Key West Lou. Her name, Pat Grady. A Key West resident. I am fortunate. A loyal blog reader. Thank you, Pat.

Great game last night! Clemson beat the perennial victor Alabama. By a touchdown made with one second remaining on the clock. The final score 35-31.

Wild!

Tonight Syracuse/West Virginia. West Virginia a 4.5 point favorite. I will stick my neck out. If Syracuse plays as it has in its last two game, Syracuse will win decisively.

I continue to learn.

Enzio Pinza was a great singer and movie actor in the 1950s. He was vacationing at the Casa Marina.

The mood at various times of the day at the Casa can be revealing, overwhelming. At some point one evening, Pinza was seated on the Casa’s terrace overlooking the ocean and moon. He was so taken by the sight, he stood and sang Some Enchanted Evening. A song he had made popular.

The Casa and Pinza singing a fitting combination.

I am listening to Session’s Senate confirmation hearing. Just began. Two Democratic senators have already spoken who have failed the Nation. Both were supportive of his nomination. Disgusting. The man is an obvious bigot. Will work to restrict civil and voting rights. Not support them.

I am ashamed of the two Democratic senators. They lacked the courage to do the right thing.

I have to hustle. Barb is visiting for two weeks. I pick her up at the airport in an hour.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

GIBRALTAR OF THE SOUTH

There was a time and a man who viewed Key West as the Gibraltar of the South. It was the mid 1930s. The man, Julius Stone.

The 1930s was depression time across the United States. Key West especially hard hit. It was the end of the world. Hard to get to. Little business. No work. Monroe County had filed for bankruptcy.

Julius Stone was the WPA administrator for the State of Florida. He considered things so bad in Key West, that he opened a WPA office there. Only the second in the State.

Stone saw tourism as the way for Key West to improve its economy. He was a precursor. He saw what men like David Wolkowsky would envision in later years.

One of his efforts to improve quality of life in Key West was to have a play locally produced. The Pirates of Penzance.

The historical goodies I share with you I did not find. Credit belongs to snowbird Diana Millikan. Diana is writing a play about Julius Stone and The Pirates of Penzance endeavor. She keeps me informed.

Diana has discovered a rich source of information. The Kennedy Cafe mornings. Elderly conchs meet every morning for coffee and talk. A breakfast club of sorts.

Diana says it is like pulling teeth to get information out of them. She is succeeding, however. A step at a time.

She met Jesse. A woman in her 90s. Her married name she was not able to get. However, her maiden name was forthcoming. Watkins.

Jesse was in attendance at the play on February 19, 1935. She recalled the event vividly. She said George Wills was the leading man. Handsome.

She attended the play with her two older sisters. Diana reported one of the sisters became President of a local bank. Sounds strange for the times. It might have been the woman’s husband.

The write up in the newspaper the next day listed a Mrs. Joseph Cates as seamstress. Diana is trying to find out if the 1935 Cates is a relative of today’s Mayor Cates.

Burt Lancaster was one of America’s great actors. He died at 80 this date in 1994. Lancaster and Key West touched two times.

Lancaster’s first movie was The Killers. The movie was based on Ernest Hemingway’s short story of the same name.

He actually filmed a movie in Key West. The Rose Tattoo. The movie was based on Tennessee William’s play of the same name. The movie was filmed in a house on Duncan Street. Williams lived on one corner of the block and The Rose Tattoo house was on the other.

The Cannonball Run is coming through Key West saturday. Will be on Duval and Front Streets around 3.

The Cannonball is composed of a group of men who own special cars. They like to drive them on strange roads in strange places. Duval not one of those places. However Key West not the destination. The group is headed for Havana, Cuba.

I have a neighbor down the street who participates. He is on in years. The Run is one of the more important events in his live. He has a 1906 or 1914 Rolls Royce. In tip top shape. When last I spoke with him, he had just returned from a run in New Zealand. The cars at some point are shipped to the final destination.

Screwworms on the move. No longer just on Big Pine and No Name Key. Have expanded into Big Torch Key, Middle Torch Key, Little Torch Key, Cudjoe, Ramrod and Summerland Keys. Flies have been found in each place.

The last time there was a screwworm infestation was 30 years ago. Things have become sufficiently bad that the State of Florida has declared a State of Emergency exists.

Tammy for a manicure/pedicure yesterday. Ran into Kate Miano who was getting a pedicure.

Kate is one of Key West’s most dynamic women. Owner of The Gardens. Note that Sunday at the Gardens has opened. Sundays from 5-7. Great music. Good drinks. Excellent company. Mostly locals.

The Judy Wood memorial celebration this evening from 5-7 at Tavern ‘n Town. Sad. Her death continues to bother me. And I did not know her well. Only from the bar.

Afterwards, I shall be off to bocce to watch Don’s Place play. Numero Uno!

Goombay tomorrow night!

The third and final Presidential debate was last night. Trump consistent. An ass. Hillary handled herself well.

Enjoy your day!