SPECIAL DUELING BARTENDERS EVENING

Some nights, some events, can be absolutely over the top. So it was last night with Dueling Bartenders at Aqua.

The room jumped!

I was supposed to pick Terri up and bring her with me. donna had to work and would be late. Lately typical, I forgot. Forgot to pick Terri up.

I was on my way into Aqua when the I remembered. Simultaneously, Donna was on the phone. Where are you? Going into Aqua. I know, I forgot to pick Terri up.

Back to car and on to mid town. Terri waiting outside for me. A lady about the whole thing.

Tom Luna and Rick Dery singing. If Terri is there, she sings also. As Terri and I walked in, Tom Luna brushed aside me and gave Terri who was behind me a big hug. Also, a microphone. Terri was welcome to sing when ever moved to do so.

Terri is special. Her vocal chords unique. the walls move when she gets into a song.

She got to me with Suddenly Seymour. Brought tears to my eyes.

A strange existence. Here she is singing and dancing while singing on occasion with Rick. You would never know she has  a heavy cancer she is battling. Been on chemo for several months now. Hopefully a special surgery in Tampa in late May.

Terri put a little joy into everyone’s hearts.

Sitting next to Terri at the bar were four young males. Off the Carnival Freedom which was docked at Mallory Square. The four from Texas, New Jersey and Los Angeles. Havord a dancer. Tim a singer, Justin a yoga instructor. The fourth, John. I cannot recall his function on the Freedom.

Terri blew them out!

Looked for Liz. No Liz.

Saw Lynn. First time in a couple of years. Lynn ran a popular optometrist business here for years. Fell off the face of the earth two years ago. Obviously has returned. She said she intends to remain.

Welcome back, Lynn!

Then came John the Baptist. The words fell out of my mouth. Someone next to me said, no. It’s Moses.

In reality Joseph Lyles. Former manager of the Hot Tin Roof. Now retired. Ninety nine percent recovered from a serious back surgery. Walking not with a cane. Rather, a six foot pole. Joseph a bit shorter. The pole and his new beard rendered him John the Baptist or Moses.

We agreed to have dinner together next week.

My yesterday morning was spent running around town taking care of some business matters.

My afternoon split between watching Love Story and preparing for tonight’s podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.

Love Story got to me in similar fashion as Terri’s Suddenly Seymour. A few tears. I have seen the movie many times. It still hits the soft spot in me.

Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou is at 9 my time. A quick moving eye opening half hour. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Topics will include a little Trump. How can he be left out? Trump’s invitation to Kim Jong Un to visit the White House, still refusing to back off Obama a “sick and bad guy,” claiming Andrew Jackson upset with the Civil War and would have kept us out of it.

Followed Attorney/General Sessions and the Congressional bar against him prosecuting state medical marijuana laws.

Also, a Venezuelan  update, the new Fourth Reich, cobalt big money, John Tyler’s marital prowess, white people sub-human re certain black advocates, and more.

Duval not always as it is today.  Take O Duval. Where the Pier House and Ocean Key House sit today. Two magnificent resorts.

The Key West Citizen this morning in its Keys History section ran a photo of O Duval 1946. No Pier House, no Ocean Key House. Instead the beginning of a small distribution center for Gulf Oil. A very small building. Nothing more, except bare dock top.

Enjoy your day!

ANTI-SEMITISM ON RISE IN U.S.

The Anti-Defamation League issued a report yesterday. Claims anti-Semitism on the rise in the United States. Statistics provided in support.

In the first quarter of 2017, there have been 541 incidents. An increase of 86 percent over the same period last year.

Viewing 2016 alone, a larger number of incidents occurred over 2015. The leading states were New York, California, and New Jersey. Florida alone saw a 50 percent increase in number of incidents.

The cause? The article suggests Trump. The article accuses Trump of using anti-Semitic memes during the campaign.

2016 saw an overall increase of 34 percent over 2015. One third of the increase occurred in the last two months of 2016.

Spoken words of hatred beget hatred. Mouthing hatred encourages hatred.

Is Trump anti-Semitic? I don’t think so. He is a man with a Jewish daughter, son in law and grandchildren. I sense Trump to be a man who uses any tool to get ahead. Not actually believing what he says. Not thinking or concerned with the impact of his words.

Still makes Trump responsible for his spoken words. He creates problems whenever he opens his mouth.

By the way, anti-Semitism is down in Europe.

Spent yesterday afternoon researching tonight’s podcast show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Exciting and revealing. Fast moving. Nine my time. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Topics will include anti-Semitism, Netanyahu’s wife in the process of being indicted re using state funds for private spending, bomb attack on Monsanto plant in Italy, middle class continuing to collapse in 20 major U.S. cities, reflection on recent power outages in San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles.

Also, a Venezuela update, Trump’s neocon conversion, 900 high school students searched and groped by police, former Trump county chair and Judge arrested for child sex trafficking, United and American Airlines incidents, and more.

Arrived at Aqua early yesterday for Dueling Bartenders. An hour early. Read newspapers till show time.

Tom Luna and Rick Dery singing. Tom a Notary. Married Rick and his spouse this past week. Congratulated a happy Rick re his marriage.

Liz showed up! I had not seen her since her hospitalization. Still  with cane. Looks much better. Face relaxed. The eternal hip pain gone.

We decided to have dinner at Antonia’s. Closed. I forgot it was Taste of Key West. Mangoes was open. As unhappy as I was with my last visit, it was the closest open restaurant.

I must admit, the meal was terrific. I thoroughly enjoyed a shrimp pasta. I will return. Lesson learned, I should not condemn a restaurant based on one poor meal.

Technology amazing! Moving super fast in recent years.

We are testing driverless vehicles. First probably will be marketed by the end of this year or next year. Now comes flying cars. Not driverless. A big move forward, however. Expected to be market ready in three years.

Arkansas should be credited! Tried to squeeze 10 executions into one week. Got most in. Two last night. What a claim to fame!

Actually, disgraceful!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

CACTUS DICK AND THE SANTA FE RIDERS

Cactus Dick and the Santa Fe Riders. A country music group. From yesterday.

American Bandstand’s Dick Clark was Cactus Dick. A live television show. Back in the early 1950’s in my home town Utica.

After graduating Syracuse University, Clark worked a year for a radio station in Rome. Fourteen miles from Utica. His uncle owned the station, his father managed it. He filled in for the vacationing weatherman and announced station breaks.

A spot opened at Utica’s WKTV  television station. Clark went for it.

The rest is history. Clark hosted American Bandstand for years, as well as other TV shows. Became a multi-million dollar producer.

An American success story. From the weather on radio to Cactus Dick on TV to American Bandstand.

I write about Clark today because of a note I saw this morning. Clark died this date in 2012.

My evening last night began with Aqua and the Dueling Bartenders. Friends Tom Luna and Rick Dey. Strangely, not one patron I knew. I did meet some new interesting people, however.

Tom introduced me to Margaret and Lou. Lou aka Bud. From Tampa. Have owned a place in Key West for years. Bought at Truman Annex’s Shipyard pre-construction. An outstanding purchase!

Good company. Sure we will run into each other again at some point.

Also met Gina and Mike. Visiting from Chicago. Second time in Key West. Gina a waitress and Mike in software. Interesting people. Spent quite a while with them.

Hungry! Decoded I needed/wanted a good meal. The diet has begun getting to me. Stopped into Antonia’s. Ate at the bar.

Antonia’s was one of two of my favorite places for years. The other Square One. Owners change. I think I have only been to Antonia’s once in 10 years.

The ambiance the same. Still. Quiet. Decor beautiful. A pleasant place to enjoy a fine meal.

Food still good. I had escargot and linguine bolognese.

Met bartender Alexis. Nice guy. From Romania.

Slept late this morning. I am two hours late in getting this blog out. You will not be getting it till after noon.

Heard from Buffalo’s Tom and Fran Dixon. They will be here from thursday through tuesday. Great people! They visit several times a year. We have become good friends.

Love Fran! She brings me goodies. Cooks all kinds of things and carries them in her luggage. The last trip home made pasta and meat sauce with meatballs. The sauce and meatballs frozen. Stayed frozen during the trip.

Immigration has always been a problem. One way or another.

On this day in 1982, the U.S. Border Patrol blocked exit from Key West and the Keys at Florida City. They believed illegal aliens were gaining entry to the U.S. via the Keys.

Traffic was backed up 15 miles.

American pride got a big boost this day in 1942. Jimmy Doolittle and his raiders bombed Tokyo. First successful U.S. attack following Pearl Harbor. Doolittle led 16 B-25 bombers on the raid. They flew off the carrier USS Hornet. From a distance 650 miles from Tokyo.

My podcast tonight. Nine my time. A fast moving and revealing half hour. Join me. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Topics include Donald and Ivanka Trump’s Chinese trade marks recently acquired, Afghan missile deaths up to 94, India ATMs out of cash, American liberated Libya now ISIS controlled with slave markets everywhere.

Also, a 3 month old brought in by English authorities as a terrorist, an Alabama sheriff starving prisoners, robots ready to build new homes, India uses Coca Cola and Pepsi as pesticides, Venezuela’s Maduro may be close to a fall, and more.

The lead topic will be China’s horrendous way of harvesting body organs.

Enjoy your day!

SNOWSTORMS ONCE FAMILY TIMES

The northeast is getting crushed under tons of snow. Most places closed down. Definitely work places and schools.

Means the family is together for a whole 1-2 days.

Time for mom, dad and children to talk to each other. Yesterday, yes. Today, I do not know.

My yesterday goes back roughly 50 years. I loved the 1 or 2 snowstorms a year. Closed the office down before the big storm hit. Went home to join the wife and kids.

No computers, laptops, or cell phones back then. People had to talk to one another. Lite the fireplace and we sat around all day. Chatted about this and that. Played cards and games. Even ate together.

Hot chocolate time, also. My wife prepared hot chocolate. It fit the day.

Today, I sense everyone is engrossed in their computers and cell phones. Even mom and dad. Little personal communication.

Everything has changed. Except for the snowstorm.

I was all over Duval Street last night.

Started with the Chart Room. Should have skipped the place. A drunk obnoxious older woman got on my case. Insultingly. Loud. I don’t think I had said ten words to her. All polite, of course.

She had a hair up her ass. Even her husband could not get her to shut up.

I finally laid a bill on the bar and walked out.

The Chart Room has a new bartender monday-wednesday. Paul. Last employer, the Gecko.

He should have handled the situation. He did not.

John, Emily of days gone by, etc. would have first asked her politely to calm down and if she did not, called security.

I left without even finishing my first drink.

Headed over to Aqua. Should have gone there in the first place. Dueling Bartenders evening.

Tom Luna back. He has been gone for three weeks.

Met Ed. Retired here. We had similar backgrounds. We arrived to this stage of our lives by different paths. But, got here!

Ed a Long Island person. Went to Bowling Green. A track man. He was familiar with Manhattan College which I attended. Manhattan had a terrific track team back then.

Basketball his game, also.

Ed was in ROTC. Took a commission. Did a year in Vietnam. Left the service a captain.

His other life spent as a high school principal.

Today, Ed serves as Adjutant Commander of the VFW on North Roosevelt Boulevard. The one with the good cooking, as he described it. He was correct. I occasionally stop by.

Walked over to Bourbon Street from Aqua. Wanted to hear Bria sing. She starts at 8. I was too early. Two drinks away time wise for me. Too much.

Hunger beset me. Stopped at Mangoes. First time at the new Mangoes. Remodeled beautifully.

Sat at the bar. Met Peter who was sitting next to me. Peter interesting. Originally from Chelsea. For the unaware, part of New York City.

Peter works at Fogarty’s by day.

Enjoyed Peter’s company.

I did not enjoy my meal. Disappointed. Ordered nothing special. Wings. Tough. Over cooked. Difficult to bite, difficult to chew.

I am going to give Mangoes a break and not say I don’t recommend it. A place that beautiful can’t be serving poor food. I will be trying it again soon.

Service was excellent.

The new health care plans sounds like a winner. Fourteen million without coverage in one year. Twenty six million in ten years. Lowers taxes for the rich. Hits the old hard. Many will end up with insufficient care at a time when they most need care. Premiums and deductibles high.

My Facebook video I will be doing in a couple of hours will succinctly express my feelings.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

AQUA IDOL…..LYNDA FRECHETTE

The driving force behind Aqua Idol is Lynda Frechette. She and others, the driving force behind the Waterfront Theater.

Aqua Idol is the annual fundraiser to assist the Waterfront Theater. Takes money to keep a theater going. Especially an excellent one!

Aqua Idol is Lynda’s baby! Runs several consecutive tuesdays. The best singers from the lower keys participating to raise money for the Waterfront Theater.

Want an enjoyable evening? Stop at Aqua tonight at 6. The best of the best awaits you.

Stopped at Aqua last night for Dueling Bartenders. No Tom Luna. Understand he is taking three weeks off. Rick Dery holding down the fort with two other vocalists. A typical great evening.

Liz and her lady friends part of the audience. Joined them. Afterwards, Liz and I had dinner at Michael’s. Liz stopped me from ordering desert and coffee. She had it planned for home. Her home. Finished the evening at Liz’s with great carrot cake, ice cream and coffee.

My blog talk radio show tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. Join me for a quick half hour of interesting and challenging topics. Guaranteed you will not be bored. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Picture in this morning’s KONK Life: Sheila Cullen and Howard Livingston. A spectacular duo! The pic taken at the Southernmost Castaways fundraiser last friday night.

Love Eugene Robinson! Pulitzer Prize winner, Associate Editor and columnist for the Washington Post and a regular on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

Robinson and his wife Avis have been vacationing in Key West the past several years. Last year, he spoke behalf of the Key West Friends of the Library. I missed it. He is scheduled to do it again this year.

At the Key West Theater. March 6 at 6. Arrive early. Line long. Doors open at 5:30. Free.

Water an interesting problem in the days of William Hackley. On this date in 1856, Hackley reported he could not bathe. Water foul. He could take a shower bath, however.

Raises the question in my mind as to whether bathing was done with well water. Does not seem possible. Key West is at ocean level. Nothing but ocean water a foot down.

Was the shower bath by accumulated rain water? Or, previously collected well water?

Whatever, I would like to know. If any of you have the facts, share with the rest of us.

Poor Trump. He is being mocked. In Austria. It is carnival season. Costume shops are selling Trump wigs. A popular item. Most shops sold out.

If Nixon had not screwed up with Watergate, he would be considered one of our great Presidents. A key item would have been his trip to China. He arrived in China this date 1972.

Nixon began the process of re-establishing diplomatic relations with China. A major feat!

On this date in 1848, Karl Marx, together with Frederick Engels, published The Communist Manifesto. What would become the Communist bible. the last few sentences of the work saying it all: “The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. they have a world to win. Workers of the world, unite!”

Without Marx, there would not have been a Lenin. In 1917, Vladimir Lenin led the world’s first successful Communist revolution in Russia.

Though no longer the case, by 1950 nearly half the world’s population lived under Marxist governments.

This is the best! Alexander Lukashenko is the long time President of the European nation of Belarus. He is reputed to be Europe’s last dictator. A thug, he steals elections, sends opposition politicians to forced labor camps. He even arrested  a one armed man for clapping.

Belarus is in recession. Not enough tax dollars coming in. Hundreds of thousands out of work or working little. Lukashenko refers to them as social parasites. They are not paying their fair share to run the government.

So…..He is taxing the unemployed! During a recession!

Anyone who works less than 183 days a year is required to pay $250 in compensation for lost taxes.

Less than 10 percent of those required to pay have paid.

Enjoy your day!

BLACK ANGEL OF DEATH

 

Terror can strike anywhere. Everywhere. Even Key West.

A criminal trial began yesterday in Federal District Court in Key West. The defendant, Harlem Suarez. His goal was to leave a backpack bomb on a Key West beach. In due course, the bomb would blow. People injured and killed.

Suarez a terrorist. Lived on Stock island.

The FBI were on to Suarez. Two undercover agents sold him an inert backpack bomb. Then arrested him.

Suarez had a Facebook site. He spoke of the glories of ISIS on the site. Also, ran pics. One of a terrorist holding the head of a decapitated woman.

Suarez referred to himself as the Black Angel of Death.

Lisa, my grandchildren, my friends, Key Westers, tourists, use the beaches.

Suarez should die.

My blog talk radio show tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. A quick half hour of interesting happenings. Some revealing. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

A multitude of topics. All exciting. Like Putin unhappy U.S. troops suddenly in Poland and Norway, police at Standing Rock had/have missile launchers, Trump to sign order today permitting Standing Rock and Keystone Pipeline to proceed, Chinese take lung cleansing vacations, affordable water a looming crisis.

Also, a Mexican TV channel being launched in the U.S., FDA approves a GMO pineapple for sale without testing, Chinese billionaire Jack Ma says U.S. priorities screwed up/wasted trillions on wars and Wall Street/not enough on its people, Mark Zuckerberg for President?, and more.

Only one place to be a 6 this evening. Aqua. For Aqua Idol. A several week singing contest. Great voices. Equally great planning by Lynda Frechette who spearheads the event.

Wind still blowing big time day time  yesterday. I took a ride over to the White Street Pier. In the past, extremely windy days resulted in waves crashing over the pier. A sight to see.

I was not disappointed. Nature pissed off. Waves rising high before slamming down on the pier.

I did not walk on the pier. Some did. I feared I would fall/get knocked over. I don’t need nature’s assistance to fall. I do well enough on my own.

The winds were 50 mph.

A portion of the Westin’s dock gave way because of the winds and waves. A mistake. Not the Westin anymore. Now the Margaritaville.

My evening began at Aqua last night. Dueling Bartenders time.Tom Luna one of the dueling bartenders. Last night his birthday. Celebrated with cake for all.

Barbara was with me. As we arrived, Liz and friends were leaving for dinner.

Walked over to Antonia’s for dinner afterwards. No room at the bar. Decided to head home, stopping at Outback first.

Syracuse/Wake Forest tonight. Syracuse a 2.5 point favorite. I have no idea who will win. My team not doing well this season.

Enjoy your day!

 

ROBERT FROST’S TIME IN KEY WEST

The Today In Keys History section of the Key West Citizen carried a brief comment re Robert Frost. To the effect that it had been announced on this date in 1934 that Robert Frost would spend the winter in Key West. His first visit.

Inquisitiveness tickled my fancy. Where did he stay? What did he do? Etc. Did a bit of research.

The winter of 1934 may have been Frost’s first visit, it was not his last. He returned in 1945. Spent every winter in Key West through 1960.

Jessie Porter’s home was a haven for writers. Daily visits. Sitting around and talking. Frost included.

Porter’s home was at 410 Caroline St. A garden cottage was located on the property. Frost leased the cottage during his 1945-1960 stays.

Porter’s home today is known as The Heritage House. It is listed as a National Literary Landmark.

Away from the Porter premises, Frost’s favorite place to hang out was the Casa Marina.

Spent yesterday afternoon preparing for tonight’s podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Topics off the wall! All kinds of interesting things happening. I will open with the alleged Russian hacking of the Democrats and the opposing views of the CIA and FBI.

Followed by Chinese factories making our Xmas toys under deplorable working conditions, pharmacy executives arrested for bribing doctors to recommend their pain killing drug, a black man arrested for DUI strapped into a chair and beaten by a police officer causing the black man to lose sight in one eye, Venezuela eliminating half its paper money, and more.

Aqua first last night. Liz and Mary there. Sat with them. Jean Thornton on the other side of the bar. Tom Luna, Rick and Traci entertaining.

Alex tapped me on the shoulder to say hello. His wife standing outside. Alex was playing across the street. I will have to stop in next week to hear him blow his horn.

Liz and Mary left for dinner at Antonia’s. I headed for Bourbon Street.

Berlin’s Bria sings monday and tuesday evenings at Bourbon Street. Went especially to hear her. As usual, outstanding.

Sitting at the bar next to me were Jen and Paul. Jen vacationing from Fargo, North Dakota. Paul a December snowbird for years.

Jen and I had an interesting conversation re Standing Rock. She lives where it all happened. I expected her to be sympathetic to the Sioux cause. She was not. She felt the Native Americans were making a lot out of nothing.

Interesting.

While the Polar Vortex is reaping havoc on the northwest, Key West weather has never been better. Mid 80s yesterday. Never hot. No humidity. Comfortable.

The Polar Vortex is expected to be felt over the keys early next week. Very cold weather. Significant drop in temperature.

The war between the community and the Lower Keys Medical Center continues. An attorney hired by the community group reported that the hospital board had no authority to act and that the legal paperwork involved years ago was binding.

The battle will continue. I don’t understand why the community group does not take a direct assault on the company operating the hospital for insufficient care, over billing, etc.

Last but not least. My new streaming show will not debut thursday as planned. The best laid plans of mice and men…..

Only one problem. Described yesterday. It will not be resolved by thursday.

Enjoy your day!

 

DON AND CHRIS ENGAGED

Finally, Don and Chris are engaged. It only took 11 years for Don to bend a knee and ask…..Will you marry me? With a 2.5 carat engagement ring in hand.

Chris burst out crying and exclaimed…..Yes!

Chris should not have been so quick to accept. I would have made Don sweat a while for making Chris wait 11 years.

The couple happy. The wedding next year in Key West.

I met Don and Chris several years ago at the Chart Room. They visit Key West 3-4 times a year. Don is part owner of a South Korea company. He spends the better part of the year in South Korea. Chris travels for her employer. Marketing. Most recently in Germany.

Home is Syracuse.

Larry and Peggy…..I am proud of your son for finally doing the right thing. Chris is a wonderful person. Devoted to your Don. Don equally wonderful and devoted to Chris.

The perfect couple.

Don and Chris joined me at Aqua last night. Tom Luna and Heather Mae performing.

We parted company after Aqua. Don wanted to watch a football game. I wanted to go to bed. Stopped at Roostica on the way home for lemoncello wings.

Big night for the kids! Christmas tree lighting and Santa Claus at Bayview Park last night. Santa arrived on a fire truck, horn blaring all the way.

My podcast show this evening. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

A different show tonight. My plan is to discuss one topic. A topic which the media fails to give proper attention. Actions taking place which bring shame to our Nation.

Standing Rock, North Dakota. Native Americans, a pipeline, and excessive police activity.

An interesting, fast moving, informative show. Again, join me.

Syracuse/Wisconsin tonight in basketball. Wisconsin a 6 point favorite.

My show interferes with watching. Game at 7. I will get in the first half and probably last 5 minutes. It will be the first time this season I will see Syracuse play.

Installment 25 of my rendition of the Key West Rotary history by Wright Langley. Today, years 1986-88.

Tomorrow, the final installment. Will center around Key West Rotary’s 75th anniversary.

Rotary’s budget in its infant years beginning in 1915 had to be a pittance. Not that way by the time 1986 came around. The projected income budget for the year was $68,415.

Rotary’s 1988 Annual Report noted the Club had 100 members.

Major accomplishments for the year included raising funds for Polio Plus, sponsoring Key West’s only Fourth of July fireworks (a tradition which began in 1979), sponsoring the Sunrise Rotary Club, continued the annual $4,000 scholarship, and established the Key West Rotary Foundation.

Tomorrow, Rotary’s 75th anniversary.

Enjoy your day!

THE GARDENS SUNDAY EVENING

A normal Sunday by day yesterday. I laid around reading the Sunday papers.

Last night began with the Gardens. Kate Miano’s special place.

Early Sunday evenings, the Gardens are packed. Last night was no different. I arrived at 6, an hour after entertainment began. The place looked like it was season! So many people!

As I moved between bodies to get to the bar, I ran into friends Lynda and Bob Frechette. Good people. They are everywhere. Exemplary Key West supporters.

Met two interesting couples. Sandra and Denis (his name is spelled with only one n). From new Hampshire. Have a time share here.

Sandra a personality. For forty years, she has owned and operated the largest salon and spa in New Hampshire. Husband Denis is with GE. Plans on retiring next year.

The other couple, Joan and Jeff. From split venues. Joan from New Jersey and Jeff Philadelphia.

Joan a bankruptcy attorney. Jeff owns a unique business. He is involved in plastics. And…..he manufactures in the USA and sells in China!

Sandra and Denis know Key West. They asked me about restaurants. First words out of my mouth were Latitudes for dinner and Blue Heaven for breakfast. They had already done both the day before. Needed no one’s advice.

Debra and Patrick are in town. Two fantastic entertainers. For years at La Te Da each season. Don’t recall them being there in recent years.

They were entertaining at the Gardens. Many in attendance to see old friends.

As I was leaving, Debra was gracious in stepping off the porch and coming over to me while she was singing…..Key West Lou! A big hug and kiss. I have known Debra and Patrick 20 years.

My game plan was to follow up the Gardens with a visit to the new Side Bar. A dancing emporium recently opened by Aqua.

What a place! Lovely! Seductive atmosphere. Cute bar. Should be a winner.

Unfortunately, I was the only one there. Too early for dancing people. I said hello, was given a tour of the place, and left.

Went around the corner to Aqua’s Duval entrance. Tom Luna bartending. Mark Watson in and out. I sat at the bar for one drink and enjoyed Tom’s company. A good man. Loved by all.

While I was sitting at the bar, Tom Blackburn came in. One of Key West’s premier photographers. Perhaps the premier.

I had never seen Blackburn before. A big guy. He came over and introduced himself. A big hug. Reads my writings. I was immediately endeared to him.

Blackburn’s photos interesting. Many a bit different. His internet site says he captures images of the world around him. He does. As he sees that world.

Received an e-mail from Don and Chris this morning. We will be meeting tonight at Aqua for Dueling Bartenders.

Harry Truman loved Key West and Key West loves Harry Truman. Truman made 11 trips to Key West. A total of 175 days.

On this day in 1949, the President arrived with wife Bess and daughter Margaret for a three week vacation. Unusual Bess was with the President. Historians tell us she preferred living in Independence and did not spend much time with her husband in the White House.

Sad for Truman. I have had the opportunity to read many of the letters the President wrote to his wife while he was in the White House and she in Independence. Letters of love.

Shakespeare one of the greatest novelists/writers of all time. No question. He knew and understood life. The good and bad. The unexpected.

On this day in 1582, 18 year old William Shakespeare married 26 year old Anne Hathaway. Six months later, their baby was born.

Onward Rotary. Installment 24.

Love the palm trees lining North Roosevelt Boulevard? They are new. Came with the new highway.

In 1971, Key West was raising money to plant palm trees along North Roosevelt Boulevard. One hundred ninety two. The Rotary contributed $344. Paid for 20 trees. The remaining $4 went to the fertilizer fund.

The Rotary sponsored a club at the Key West High School. Called Interact. The purpose of the club was to teach the young Rotary values. Get the kids involved at an early age.

At a Rotary meeting on March 18, 1971, the officers and directors of Interact were honored by the Rotary. Deservedly so.

It was pointed out that Interact in the past year had sent Christmas baskets to Vietnam soldiers, held a clothing drive to help the needy, helped to raise funds to send the Key West High School Band to Washington, and offered prizes to boost baseball game attendance.

Even Key West Cemetery found itself in Rotary’s helpful hands.

In the Fall of 1981, the Key West Cemetery was a mess. Overgrown with weeds. Needed sprucing up. Rotary members spent four consecutive weekends cleaning up the Cemetery.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

LOST ITS SOUL TO GREED

This morning’s Citizens’ Voice in the Key West Citizen carried an interesting comment: “The island has lost its soul to greed.”

Food for thought!

Spent time yesterday working on installment 3 of highlights from Wright Langley’s Key West Rotary History. The installment can be read further down.

Did some research for tonight’s podcast. Not enough. I have another 3-4 hours before the show itself. I have a medical test at 11:30. Will complete the research thereafter.

The lead topic will involve Comey’s letter to certain Congressional Committees.

The show is at 9 my time. A quick interesting half hour. Whether you agree with my comments, guaranteed you will enjoy. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Visited Terri at the hospital. She is looking good. Returns home today. Donna has been the perfect spouse. Slept on a couch in Terri’s room the whole week.

Following the visit, headed to Aqua for Dueling Bartenders. Special last night. Tracey from days gone by belting out one song after another. Tracey is a for real woman who looks like a woman. Tom Luna and Goddess Galore singing along with Tracey.

A good crowd. Liz there. Sat with her.

Last night, Halloween. Key Haven always crowded with costumed kids. Key Haven is the best place for trick or treat goodies. Plentiful. The residents place tables on the lawn spread with candy, apples, etc. They sit around the tables greeting the ghosts and goblins.

Historically, a big deal! Going to Key Haven on Halloween. Costumed children are driven on the back of pick up trucks to get there. Key West children travel to Key Haven for the evening.

Not last night.

I drove home at 7:30. Very few young ones. Fifty at the most. Normally in the hundreds. Where were they? I have no idea.

Bayview reopened yesterday. New equipment for the kids. Paid for by the City.

Construction of Bayview began in 1922. The Key West Rotary was a big help in getting the park started. There is more in today’s installment re Rotary’s contribution.

A comedy opens tonight at the Red Barn. The Return. Runs 11/1 to 11/19. A line in the play suggests the comedic effect: “No need for brutality. Just call me Jesus.”

The Key West City Commission continues to have their heads up their derrieres. This time re the location of the tiger at the new City Hall. We have a multitude of problems that need addressing. The tiger should have been an easy one.

The issue is which corner should the tiger be set on. It was always on the corner of White and United. Some Commission members and others believe the corner of White and Varsela would now be better.

Time being spent deciding the location.

Would you believe!

Hackley on another hunting trip. Another overnighter. Must be the time of the year for getting game.

He and his companions killed 23 Coots and 3 ducks.

Now for today’s highlights of Key West Rotary’s history. Installment 3 covers the years 1919-1923.

Nineteen nineteen and 1920 apparently not significant. No mention in Langley’s history.

An issue arose in early December 1921 that would be a call to war today. The Rotary decided to perform a minstrel show.

Minstrel shows were common back then. Social correctness not even a spoken term. Men painted their faces black and performed. Comedy and singing. The shows fundraisers.

Put yourself back in the time. Our country was German, Welsh, English based. Everyone else considered immigrants. African-Americans and other persons of color not taken into account.

The Rotary was presenting the minstrel show to raise monies for Boy Scout Troop 2.

Rotary President at the time was Dr. J. Y. Porter, Sr. He was Florida’s first public health officer. Porter raised hell. Called “raised the mischief” in  those days. He was “angered.” Claimed he was not informed of the minstrel show. He needed to first see it to make sure no part required censorship.

He saw it. Gave his approval.

It was thought Porter’s cries were a ruse. To give attention to the minstrel show and assure a larger attendance.

The minstrel show opened on schedule on December 10 at the Garden Theater.

I researched the Garden Theater to add some background. I found nothing.

The day after the show, the newspaper reported the show was enjoyed by all. Even “Boss Rote.” I researched Boss Rote and came up with nothing. I suspect it was a nick name for Dr. Porter.

Rotarians have always supported the Boy Scouts. In 1937, the Key West Rotary organized and sponsored Boy Scout Troop 50.

Nineteen twenty two was a busy year. One of the Rotary’s first major projects was to clear the area that was to become Bayview Park. Rotarians spent two days in overalls and blue chambray shirts chopping down heavy underground growth and grass.

Walter S. Crosley was a Rotarian. He also was A U.S. Navy Captain. He rounded up a detachment of Bluejackets and Marines to assist the Rotarians.

The Key West Electric Company participated. Its President was Rotarian Bascom Grooms. He contributed 30 employees to help.

Two days later at the end of the work, the Rotarians posed for a photo in front of Rotarian Benjamin D. Trevor’s home. Trevor’s house was across the street from the future Bayview Park on Division Street. Division Street today Truman Avenue.

Two of Trevor’s sons went on to become Presidents of the Key West Rotary. Jerry and Edwin Trevor.

I suspect the Rotarians of those days either were younger or had a number of young members. In 1923, the Rotary had a softball team. Members only.

The Rotary played a game against Army and Navy officers.  The softball diamond was the Old Army Barracks. Now, Peary Court.

Rotary won 19-10.

Enjoy your day!