Interesting how nations make war against each other, kill and maim by the thousands, and years later are the best of friends.

Germany and Japan examples.

Further back in history, Great Britain. We fought the Revolution and War of 1812 against the British.

During the War of 1812, the British did a terrible thing. They burned down the White House. On this date in 1814.

Most believe the burning destruction of the White House and other federal buildings was unnecessary. Normally, yes. However the circumstances were not normal. Earlier, U.S. forces had invaded Canada and burned down a number of important British buildings.

Called retribution.

Done, accompanied with an insult.

President James Madison was aware the British would successfully invade Washington. Easily. So easy that the British marched into Washington with no opposition.

Washington’s fate had been decided a day or two before. At the Battle of Bladensburg in Maryland. The U.S. was soundly defeated. Even President Madison fought on the front lines. The first and last commander in chief to actually do so as President.

Washington had to be abandoned. Dolly Madison almost did not make it. Some historians claim she insisted on waiting till a portrait of George Washington could safely be taken down and secured.

The insult did not merely consist of burning down the White House. It included top British generals dining in the White House the evening before.

Brit glory lasted only two days. On August 26, American forces attacked and the British left Washington running with their tails between their legs.

Lunch at 5 Guys yesterday. Craved a big juicy cholesterol filled cheeseburger.

Dinner with Donna in the evening. No Terri. Terri is in New Jersey visiting theater friends. She and Donna meet this weekend in Tampa. Terri begins heavy testing monday to determine if her body qualifies for total bone marrow replacement.

We dined at the bar at Antonia’s. It feels good after all these years to have returned.

TK bartending.

The three of us old timers as far as Key West is concerned. I have been visiting or owned for 26 years. TK and Donna longer. Our discussions centered on Key West. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Confederate statues got into the conversation. I spoke about Mallory Square. TK the Clinton Square statue.

Someone at the bar mentioned white slavery in the U.S. Never heard of it. Partly indentured servants. Most Irish brought over in huge numbers. Etc.

Did a little researching this morning. An interesting subject. I am going to devote my live video on Facebook this afternoon to the subject.

Whites suffered. Rooted from their families, beaten, killed. Not in comparable numbers to blacks. Suffered never the less.

Hurricane Andrew hit Homestead this date in 1992. Total devastation. Homestead wiped out.

I drove through Homestead three weeks later on my way to Key West. The elevated highway still standing. What I saw I would not have believed had I not seen it with my own eyes.

Andrew was a 5. Wiped everything out! Down to the ground! Only an occasional wall left standing.

Tears ran down my cheeks.

Tropical storm Harvey is moving towards Texas. Expected to hit land early saturday morning. Some concern. It is expected to hit as a hurricane. Possibly as high as a 3.

Key West has been buried in rain the past two days. More expected through a week from tomorrow. Could be a spill off from Harvey.

We have read frequently that the Trump’s are bankrupting the Secret Service. An agent’s salary is capped. There are 130 agents protecting the Trump family. Many agents have already exceeded the cap. They are not being paid for heavy overtime. Cannot be without House approval.

What I share, you already know. What you may not know is that many agents are complaining that Trump and family are not treating the agents properly. The agents claim they are being treated like servants.

Bocce season begins tonight. I doubt there will be play. The courts are already soaked. There will be more rain today.

Don will call to advise if the team is playing.

Have to hustle. Haircut time.

Enjoy your day!





Blog late this morning. 11:30 and just starting. Slept late, laid around in bed.

I had an exceptionally good time last night. My activities limited to the Chart Room and Antonia’s.

Old and new faces at the Chart Room.

Met Dale and Kendra. Great people! From  near Allentown, Pennsylvania. They have been visiting Key West every year for 10 years.

Both school teachers. Dale, a high school history teacher. Kendra teaches elementary school.

Parents of twins! A boy and girl. Now 5 1/2 years old.

This was a special meeting. For them and me. Dale has been reading my blog since 2010. Seven years!

He and Kendra have visited the Chart Room each trip during that time looking to meet up with me. Finally, last night.

We chatted a while. I enjoyed my time with them tremendously. Good people.

Jean Thornton! Last night, finally! She has been back several days and we have been missing each other. Jean’s sister was with her. Two exciting women.

These are Mel Fisher Days. Jean is back in Key West for the annual celebration.

Some 15 years ago, Jean went diving with Mel Fisher. Pushed herself on him. Took her a year for him to finally agree to take her diving. Fisher had already found $400 million in Atocha gold and emeralds.

Jean discovered some gold coins and emeralds herself that day. Would you believe! Quit her school teaching job and bought a condo in Truman Annex. Since that time, she spends at least six months a year in Key West.

Love her dearly!

Enjoyed a lengthy political discussion. With two Trump supporters. Interesting. We rarely agreed. Friends at the start and we were still friends at the end of the conversation.

One was Kevin. Kevin is a regular at the Chart Room. Owns a home on White Street. I knew he leaned conservative from prior discussions. Learned he leaned farther than I thought last night.

The other was Gordon Anderson. Gordon owns the Larian Motel in Tombstone, Arizona. Proud of it. Number one for two consecutive years on Trip Advisor.

Gordon visits Key West twice a year. A huge Mel Fisher aficionado. Took the tour yesterday of the Fisher lab. Learned how stones, jewels, coins and other artifacts are preserved. Excited him.

Today, the Mel Fisher Schooner Wharf Party. He and Kevin were making plans to attend.

The politics were good. Kevin and Gordon’s views generally diametrically opposed to mine. They enjoyed, also. We chatted back and forth.

Covered a multitude of sins. The Second Amendment. Both extremely knowledgeable about gun rights. Both conceal carry. Legal in Florida and Arizona. Kevin had me feel his gun which he carried in the back of his pants covered by his shirt. First time I was aware he carried.

They viewed Trump as the new Messiah (my description). Echoed the Republican speaking points. To the letter. Media responsible for the negatives heaped on Trump, everything is Obama’s fault. Both felt that if Trump were impeached, the people would rise up. Not tolerate it.

We have a problem. Our country is split 50/50. Both sides dug in. I do not ever recall politics this hard fixed.

The Chart Room crowded. John working hard.

Tom Cochran was a bartender back in the days when the Chart Room began and Jimmy Buffett was starting. The Chart Room’s bartender.

I have never met him. He was standing at the end of the bar. Tall. Cowboy hat. Tourists listening to him in awe as he described Jimmy Buffett’s beginnings, etc.

Never got to talk with him. The crowd surrounding him too tight. Hopefully, another time.

Time to eat. Opted for Antonia’s. Place packed. Fortunate to get a seat at the bar. TK bartending. I have known TK better than 20 years. Still looks as young as when I met him. He attributes it to botox.

Met Mike Grasso who was seated next to me. In advertising. Philadelphia. MCG Media LLC. His shop.

Knowledgeable. If I recall correctly, he owns or has a piece of Back Page.

We spoke of Philadelphia, Rittenhouse Square and David Wolkowsky. Exchanged growing up Italian stories.

Mike left. Replaced by Roddy and Clarisse. They had been seated a few seats away. Could tell I was a lawyer. Sat next to me for desert.

Both attorneys. Young compared to me. But then, everyone is. Married four years. Roddy a civil litigator in Orlando. Clarisse an immigration specialist in Miami. They have homes in Orlando and Miami.

We did lawyer talk.

Enjoyed them! The world their oyster. I wish them well.

As I was paying my bill preparatory to leaving, in walked John Marston. A Key West attorney and friend. He introduced me to his lady. A beauty! Great smile! I had never met her before. I am ashamed to admit I cannot recall her name.

Finally, home to bed.

Tonight, party time. I joined the Sons and Daughters of Italy last year. Love the members! Fun people!

A bocce party. Pizza, beer and wine. Good company and simple food and drink. Nothing better.

Enjoy your day!


Hot Dog Church

There is a first time for everything. Yesterday, it was Hot Dog Church.

Lesbians gather at 3:30 sunday afternoons at Aqua’s Back Bar. Social time.

Donna and Terri regularly attend. Men are welcome. They have invited me. I passed each time. Probably because I hate seeing a woman I covet and can’t have.

Barbara is visiting. The girls invited the both of us. We went.

Called Hot Dog Church. Strange name. So called because many times hot dogs are grilled. Sometimes, the ladies do pot luck. Everyone brings a dish.

It was fun. Not too many people. I learned most of the lesbians who attend are snowbirds. Long gone this time of year.

I stood out. I was male. Everyone talked to me. Enjoyed myself.

Afterwards, the four of us headed over to Antonia’s for dinner. One of my favorite restaurants 15 years ago. No more for a number of reasons. Rarely attend.

TK bartending. Good to see him! One of Key West’s most loved persons.

TK did me a good turn when I first bought my home here 19 years ago. He invited me to a party at his home. My first invitation. I knew few people. Following the party, I knew everyone. The invitations came pouring in.

Enjoyed a great meal! Antonia’s has a standard $10 cost for a dish of pasta. Made for a cheap night. The drinks were the killer!

Terri sings tonight. At Aqua. Dueling Bartenders. I have to pick her up at 5. Donna will be working.

Terri is an exciting vocalist! Her voice stretches the walls. Powerful. A joy to hear.

I mentioned last week William Hackley was a slave owner. He purchased slave Daniel. Paper work was completed on yesterday’s date in 1856.

The bill of sale carried Matilda’s name as the new owner. For whatever reason, William did not want Daniel in his name and instead placed ownership in his wife’s name.

Greyhound racing remains popular in Florida. Fraud and chicanery discovered again. Twelve racing greyhounds recently reported positive for cocaine.

I am waiting for Comcast to stop by and hook up my wi-fi, TV and land phone. Operating at the moment off an app on my cell phone. Convenient. However expensive if used too long. I have been using it for several days.

Enjoy your day! Hope you have it off and it is part of a long holiday weekend for you!


Nudity has its place. The loci an individual thing. Different for most persons. Yesterday, a nudity happening. At the airport in Nashville.

A man got out of a car. Walked into the airport. Walked towards American Airlines.

Totally nude. His nudity a protest against the TSA. The gentleman, a frequent flier. Sick and tired of the way TSA checks passengers for security purposes.

He never made it to the gate. Arrested. Charged with public indecency.

He was similarly arrested in 2009 for nudity at an airport parking lot. He never made it into the terminal that time.

News reports indicate the man was basically ignored as he walked through the terminal. One passenger did take his picture. I could not find it on the internet.

I worry about Pope Francis. His safety my concern. The Church hierarchy does not approve of the changes he seeks to make. The Cardinals and Bishops generally oppose him.

The Pope is a humble man. Recall that when elected, he refused to live in the Pope’s sumptuous quarters. Instead, he moved into a small hotel on the Vatican grounds. A place where Cardinals and Bishops reside also.

The facility has a receptionist. A young lady 27 years old. Seven months pregnant. Miriam Wuolou. She would greet the Pope and hand him his key and messages as he returned each day.

Miriam was found dead in her bed. She lived away from Vatican grounds. She had been dead several days. Her body in an advanced state of decomposition. A major investigation underway.

Why my concern? Twenty some odd years ago, a Pope, whose name escapes me, was found dead in his bed. He had been Pope for only 21 or 22 days.

In his short time as Pope, he had initiated an investigation of the Vatican Bank. The Bank was corrupt.

Pope Francis has initiated an investigation of today’s Vatican Bank. He also has initiated changes that are upsetting to Cardinals and Bishops. His theme that we are all God’s children is not similarly held by all.

My toe definitely without question broke. Turned black yesterday.

I have a new cell phone. My old one was six years old. Had stopped working correctly or efficiently.

The phone is a Samsung Galaxy. Apparently does everything. An education process ahead.

I got the phone at Verizon Wireless in the Winn-Dixie Shopping Center. Recommended to me by many. The Verizon store in the K-Mart Plaza is not well liked. I bought my old phone there. The service sucked. Especially the help I received for my European trips. I purchased a ton of stuff that was supposed to service my needs. Nothing did. Two years in a row.

A brother and brother in law own the Winn-Dixie Verizon. One is Brett. Brett took car of me. Spent a lot of time with me. Explained everything. He told me to return anytime with questions or problems. Those who recommended his store to me said Brett and his people are always pleasant and helpful.

The new cell phone was overdue. As was my return to Antonia’s. After six years of staying away, I decided to return last night. There have been three new owners since I walked away. Everything the same. The ambiance and food. It was nice to be home, again.

Enjoy your day!