DOTTIE CLIFFORD…..A FAMILIAR FACE

One of the most thoughtful persons I have met in Key West is Dottie Clifford. We go back 20 years. We used to see each other often years ago. Less starting 10 years ago. The last time 5 years ago.

Dottie is being honored today. The Key West Citizen presents her front page as a Key West Familiar Face.

Dottie an almost Conch. Been here 40 years. The Citizen article notes that when she first arrived in Key West, it was a hippie outpost. Today, a world renown hospitality hot spot.

She has seen it all!

Dottie is President and owner of the Key West Attractions Association.

Calamity befell her a few years ago. Pancreatic cancer. Normally, the death knell. God was with her. Dottie survived. She has been cancer free for two years.

Her illness did not diminish her bubbly personality. Uplifted all the time. You hear her cheery laugh before you even see her.

Dottie, here is to another 40 years!

The Paradise Big Band performed recently. Its 20th anniversary.

I missed the event this year. Ralph De Palma’s photos appeared in this morning’s E-Blast. There were my friends! Holly and Peter Diamond singing and dancing, Skipper Kripitz on the drums, and Larry Smith the piano.

A special time. Sorry I could not make it.

Dueling Bartenders last night. One of the best events in town. Great singing! The kind that busts the walls. Tom Luna and Rick Dery the bartenders. Bobby Smith a guest bartender.

What a trio!

Tons of people.

Liz and her entourage of 4 came in. She is the Queen at Battling Bartenders and treated as such.

Liz looked magnificent! Like just off her motorcycle. Bright red turtle neck sweater, a necklace of white stones, and a black bikers jacket. I looked to see if Marlon Brando was following her.

Friend Liz is 83 and former Dean of two law schools.

With Liz were Josefina, Genevieva, and Debbie. Plus an unknown gentleman.

Skaneateles Dan Reardon and wife came in. Together with Dan’s visiting brother John and his wife.

Dan and I are orange hearted Syracuse fans. We talked about saturday’s defeat.

Then to Tavern ‘n Town for another prime rib. Great for my diet.

I was fortunate to get a seat next to Jean and Ron. They are from Eastern Maryland. Jean a retired school administrator. Ron a general contractor. Grandparents to three. This their third or fourth visit to Key West.

Ron a Maryland fan. Maryland was playing Michigan. Maryland lost by 1  point. The last 5 minutes exciting. A Michigan  foul shot with 1.5 seconds to go gave Michigan the victory.

I got into the game with Ron. Whooping it up! Especially a Maryland 3 pointer with less than a minute to go.

A Mike came from the other end of the bar. Asked if I was Key West Lou. Mike advised he is a loyal blog reader. Loved Mike!

Stopped by to say good night when leaving. Met his wife. Nice people.

I can see! Amazing! I have had my new prescription glasses since friday. The difference they make! Reminds me of when I had cataract surgery on both eyes.

I waited too long to get new glasses. Never again.

I learned I needed them when I escaped Irma. Road signs impossible to read. Turn offs not visible till upon them. Lucky I survived night driving.

Speaking of Irma, my book Irma and Me appears to be selling. If you have not ordered it, please do so. Guaranteed you will enjoy! Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, and  Kobobooks.com.

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

I have a ton of topics to share. Normally get through 10. I have accumulated 25 during the week in anticipation of the show. I will spend the afternoon selecting those to be used and organizing tonight’s format.

One of the topics will include Trump’s shithole countries comment. I read this morning the Alt-Right loves Trump because of the reference. They hate immigrants.

Think about what I am going to write. Immigrants are disliked and a problem world wide. The immigrants of today are the Jews of yesterday. Peoples need a scapegoat, someone to hate.

Enjoy your day!

 

BRIA ANSARA…..FRIENDLY AND ACCESSIBLE DIVA

Two years ago, I insulted Bria Ansara in this blog. What possessed me I know not. It took six months before Bria would forgive me. We are now friends. She was the lady at a time when I was not the gentleman.

Bria is recognized today by the Key West Citizen. As one of Key West’s “Familiar Faces.” Front page photo recognition and article. Familiar Faces writes of people who contribute in some fashion to the island.

She is an outstanding performer. Sings, acts, etc. I generally dine friday or saturday at Berlin’s where she entertains weekends. Yes, the food is good. I go because of Bria. She is better. The best.

Friendly fits Bria. The Citizen describes her as friendly and accessible. Correctly so.

Bria has another life besides that of an entertainer. She teaches art. To students at Montessori. She teaches my Robert and Ally.

The Alabama/Georgia game destroyed me last night. I remained  awake to watch it. I had remained up late sunday evening also.

Fell asleep with 5 minutes to go. Missed the most interesting parts. The final minutes and overtime.

From the reruns this morning, I missed the best parts of the game. Whatever. Congrats to both teams. Especially to Alabama freshman Tagovailoa who went into the game in the second half and played a hell of a game.

Earlier in the day, I worked on tonight’s podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Tons of hot issues out there. I have assembled a dozen interesting topics to share, excite and perhaps even open your eyes.

Join me at 9. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou. Guaranteed you will enjoy. Even if you disagree with me.

I was in Aqua at 5. Dueling Bartenders. Tom Luna and Heather-May.

The best deal in town. Great singing. Off the wall good. Costs nothing, except for a drink or two.

Met Rob and James at Dueling Bartenders. They recently bought a home in Key West. Their primary residence Boca Raton.

Pleasant guys. Rob’s other life had him  involved in real estate and with IBM. Most recently, a math teacher at the Lower Keys Community College. James, an operations manager for a large insurance company.

Wanted to get home for the game. Stopped at Publix for a few things. I am on Atkins. It requires constant food replenishing. Expensive. I don’t know if I shared with you the scale showed a 2 pound loss three days ago. The loss has remained. Makes a total of 12 pounds.

Slow.

There is a new webcam in Key West. At Conch Republic. Operates 24 hours. Shows Key West Historic Seaport. Take a look. KeyWestHistoricSeaport.com.

Last week, Trump cut off Pakistan from financial aid the U.S. has been providing for years. Trump claimed it was because Pakistan was not controlling terrorists in its country.

Strange. There are other countries the U.S. provides aid that are not controlling terrorists within their borders.

There is a story behind the one Washington suggests.

Pakistan has become friendly with China. It permitted China to build a naval base last year in Djibouti. The ribbon cutting ceremony was July 1, 2017.

Last week, Pakistan announced that China would build a second naval base at Gwadar.

Both bases primarily intended to provide China with military outposts.

Trump is in the process of cutting off Pakistan because of the Chinese bases, not the terrorism issue.

Pakistan is not a nation to be defecated upon. The day after Trump’s announcement, Pakistan announced it was moving from the American dollar to the Chinese yuan for certain monetary transactions.

Venezuela did the same thing several months ago when Trump suggested the U.S. might have to invade Venezuela because Maduro was not taking care of his people.

Moving to the yuan weakens the American dollar. Should this trend continue, the dollar will be debased tremendously. Significant economic problems the result.

Trump continues to shot from the hip without thinking, without carefully examining the ramifications of his moves.

Trump further said the money saved by cutting Pakistan off would be used to build roads and bridges in the United States.

Sometimes the President reminds me of tonic salesmen of old.

Consider purchasing Irma and Me. Humor and sadness combined. Easy reading. Available on Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, and Kobobooks.com.

Enjoy your day!

 

ARMED MASKED MERCENARIES WALKING STREETS OF PUERTO RICO

During war, battle plan are prepared. After the battle begins and things are not going as expected, the plan is thrown away. A new plan formulated. One outside the box.

Trump is not creating any new methods for helping Puerto Rico. He tells us the food and water are there. It is up to the people to distribute it.

Passing the buck.

Trump fails to take into account that over 100 bridges are down and many roads washed away.

Think outside the box!

Helicopters! Load the helicopters with food and water and fly all over Puerto Rico bringing food and water to those who have seen neither in almost a month.

My sense is the same was suggested to Trump and rejected by him. Why trump has a hard on for Puerto Rico, I cannot understand.

I discovered in the past 48 hours that armed masked mercenaries, wearing battle gear, and carrying arms, are patrolling streets in San Juan and elsewhere. No tags identifying who they are. When asked, they respond…..We work with the government. It’s a humanitarian mission, we’re helping Puerto Rico.

Who are these mercenaries? Where do they come from? Who is paying them?

TV thus far has been silent as to the situation. In the past two days, articles have begun appearing on the internet re the mercenaries.

Little by little, the truth is leaking out. It appears mercenary groups have been invited by the United States to bid to provide armed and unarmed security. Bids have also been asked for help in protecting food and water supplies.

Five bids requested so far. The one for armed and unarmed security by the Department of Homeland Security.

Questions. Assuming the previous correct, why has the Trump Administration not announced it? Why have TV news outlets failed to mentioned it? Why the big secret?

More importantly, if the U.S. can spend money to hire mercenaries to help, why not send the U.S. military instead? The way things normally are done.

Another thing, why the masks and no identification?

Is Puerto Rico being set up for the overthrow of its existing government by the U.S.? United States’ citizens overthrown by the United States?

None of this makes sense to me.

Spent yesterday afternoon working on tonight’s podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. Join me for a fast moving sometimes eye opening half hour. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Topics tonight include the Puerto Rico armed masked mercenary situation, a post Irma update for Key West, Kansas losing 70 foster children, the size of the White House, stone crab season upon us.

Also, Trump a destroyer rather than a builder, the poem Slow Dance by a teenage young lady who will be dead from cancer in 6 months, the soon to be publication of Irma and Me, new Charlottesville confrontations, and more.

I had not planned going out last night. Changed my mind at the last minute. Was lathered up ready to shave when the lights went out. So much for shaving. Showered and dressed in the dark.

My neighbors were in the street abuzz about the power failure. Some said all the way up to Big Pine. Others, Big Coppitt.

Aqua my first stop. Missed Liz. She and Stacy had left for dinner. Sat and enjoyed Ric Dery singing.

No Dueling Bartenders. Tom Luna was somewhere in West Virginia or Virginia attending a 40 year reunion of the cast of a professional show performed 40 years ago.

Lovely Jean Thornton at the bar. A couple of hugs and kisses.

I sat next to David. We decided after a while to leave and go to the Chart Room. The Chart Room was surprisingly packed.

Met a family from New Hampshire. Five in all. Staying at Truman Annex.

Chatted quite a while with CJ, the youngest family member at 24. CJ good company. Excited about life. A history major in college. Looking forward to obtaining a Masters.

A full day. I was home in bed by 10.

Publisher believes Irma and Me will be available for purchase by the end of the week.

Enjoy your day!

I MET STEVEN

There is a mean ill tempered individual named Steven who Comments re this blog. Not a nice guy. Enjoys beating me up.

I was having dinner last night at the bar at Tavern ‘n Town. A man shows up. “I’m Steven.” “You’re Steven?” “Yes, I’m Steven.”

A few more words and I realized Steven was not the bad one.

Steven advised he has been reading my blog for years. Never commented, however. Enjoys the blog tremendously. He and his wife Sandy have a place on Sugarloaf. Their home Cape May, New Jersey.

I am familiar with Cape May. On the Jersey Shore. Visited many Cape May restaurants when a guest at Frank and Lois Paladino’s summer home in nearby Stone Harbor.

We had an enjoyable conversation. Steven and I are at different ends of the political spectrum. He likes Trump. No problem, we agreed. We could talk civilly.

He and the wife are returning to Cape May in five days. They came down to evaluate the Irma damage to their Sugarloaf home.

We agreed to get together when he returns in January.

I finished dinner and went to pay the bill. Steven had already paid it. Went over to thank him. Met Sandy. I  look forward to our January meeting. Dinner on me!

The evening was unique in a sense. I started at Aqua. Dueling Bartenders. Tom Luna and Rick Dery at their best.

Liz and friends at the bar. I sat next to Liz. I was pleased to see her out. She spent about 10 days recently in the hospital getting her life long diabetes under control.

Liz and friends left to have dinner at Mangoes. Invited me. I declined.

David was seated on the other side of me. Had him working on my cell phone. I lost my messages app. David a cellphone/computer guru. Like the children of today. He found the app. However could not place the icon on the screen for me. Told me to talk with Sloan.

I asked for my bill. No bill. Liz had picked up my bill. The evening was unique in the sense I paid neither my drinking nor dinner bills.

I can now afford to go our another evening this week.

Joking, of course..

Spent yesterday afternoon working on tonight’s podcast show. Interesting topics. Like reptiles in toilets, abortion and Congressman Tim Murphy, the government back in our bedrooms and sex lives, third Charlottesville confrontation since 8/12.

Also, Sally the Salad Bar Robot, post-Irma Key West recovery, Happy Birthday Afghanistan, Puerto Rico still without power, Trump and Venezuela, bankers legal thieves in the U.S., fish fall from the sky, and more.

A fast moving half hour. Some topics eye openers. All shared from my perspective, of course.

Join me. Nine my time. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Yesterday, Columbus Day. I wrote yesterday I  expected turmoil. Protesters who want the name of the day changed and Columbus statues removed.

Turns out protests were minimal. Not at all in many cities.

New York’s parade was its 73rd. Thirty five thousand marched. No demonstrations. A couple of incidents reported.

Denver was the place for the action. Denver is recognized as the birthplace of Columbus Day. Demonstrations described as peaceful. One hundred forty seven arrested, however.

Demonstrators showed up. Primarily Native Americans. They were asked by police if they wanted to be arrested. One hundred forty seven volunteered. The rest quietly watched the parade.

Native Americans want the label for the day to be changed from Columbus day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day, aka Native Americans Day.

They say Columbus brutalized and enslaved West Indians.

The chant of the Denver protests: Sitting Bull would be proud of us.

I’m missing something here. As I recall, Native Americans scalped, killed entire white families after torturing them (including rape of the women), and kept captured whites and Indians as slaves.

Native Americans who want a day Sitting Bull and their ancestors would be proud of should pick another date to honor their heritage. Leave mine alone. I am of Italian heritage. My mother and both sets of grandparents were born in Italy.

Curb debris continues to be a challenge. The debris of epic proportions.With all the removal so far, only 17-18 percent has been removed. It is estimated there were 400,000 cubic yards. Seventy thousand removed thus far.

There are many trucks involved in the removal. FEMA is sending four more. The removal a big time task!

I have to hustle. A test at the hospital at 12:30. The beginning of many tests. Primary purpose to determine why I am tired all the time. Close to exhaustion some time.

Enjoy your day!

 

SOME ENCHANTED EVENING

Too much heart ache lately. Harvey, Irma, Maria, Puerto Rico, and Las Vegas. Time for a change of pace. Something light. A bit of love.

Some enchanted evening…..Opening words to Some Enchanted Evening. Uplifting.

Heard the song sung for the first time in years monday at Dueling Bartenders. Tom Luna singing as only he can.

Some Enchanted Evening opened on Broadway in 1949. An immediate hit. Starred Enzio Pinza and Mary Martin. Pinza sang Some Enchanted Evening.

The movie was not produced till nine years later. Pinza dead by that time. Rossano Brazzi starred in the movie version.

Rogers and Hammerstein wrote the music and lyrics.

I was in my first year of high school when the musical opened on Broadway. My second year of law school when the movie came out. Danced lovingly to some Enchanted Evening during the time frame and since. Unfortunately, rarely these days.

My podcast last night. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Primary topics Key West post Irma and Puerto Rico. Lambasted Trump re his Puerto Rico visit earlier in the day. He deserved it.

Blog Talk Radio produces the podcast. They offer it to advertisers with the representation: “Always an interesting perspective on everyday issues.” I try.

Stopped for a drink at Don’s Place late monday afternoon. Missy bartending. Enjoyed our conversation. She stayed for Irma. Her home small, but between 2 large concrete buildings. Her home equipped with all kind of helpful items. Like a generator that can run forever. She had stored fuel in anticipation. Ergo, her refrigerator and air conditioning worked.

Irma a tough time for her!

Stopped at Walgreens yesterday. Picked up 5 prescriptions. All generic. $194. Something wrong! Expensive! My acid reflux pill the killer.

Ran into David scootering out of The Gardens. His mobile home destroyed by Irma. FEMA putting him up for a time. List of FEMA provided hotels/motels included The Gardens.

David had never heard of The Gardens. The finest and most expensive hotel in Key West. Kate Miano’s wonder!

I told David to stay at The Gardens, if he could. I had to convince him.

Yesterday, he told me the place was terrific! He was in a cottage, had a suite, etc.

I have been trying to reach Dr. Langley’s office. I am changing primary care physicians. I had been telephoning to ask that my records be e-mailed to the new doctor. Phone never working.

Receptionist told me everything was still down with them. Wi-fi and telephone. Could not e-mail. She would print out my records and I will pick them up today.

Comcast’s record generally leaves much to be desired. Someone recently told me of an obituary they read where an elderly woman had passed away. The obituary reflected that her life was a happy one, except for three things. One of the three was Comcast!

Key West’s Irma recovery a day at the time. A little better each day. We will return in full force by Fantasy Fest.

I knock the Key West City Commission frequently. Incompetents at governing. They finally did something correctly, however.

It was announced that because of damages and repair costs due to Irma, the 3-5 percent real property tax increase contemplated was being rolled back. Means no tax increase for the upcoming year.

Governor Rick Scott has become my favorite political person due to his handling of Irma. He continues to be concerned and active.

Governor Scott will be in Key West tomorrow morning. The Marriott Beachside at 10:30. He is giving an Irma update. Open to the public.

Trump’s Puerto Rico visit yesterday a disgrace. I won’t bother you with the details. They are being reported all over TV and the internet.

Bottom line remains the same…..Trump is lacking sympathy and only cares about his image which he generally projects erroneously.

I am thrilled!

Parking in Key West a pain! Especially for those living outside its boundary lines. City issued parking permits are available to residents only.

I recently moved. My former residence was 2.5 miles outside Key West. Key West parking was not easy. My new residence is located on the Golf Course.

Turns out a portion of the Golf Course is a part of Key West. I live in that area!

I received a new card telling me I was henceforth to vote in Key West. Aroused my curiosity as to parking. Checked it out. Yes, I am entitled to a parking permit. Whoopee! Whoopee tells you how difficult it is to park in Key West.

Enjoy your day!

 

GOVERNOR RICK SCOTT…..AN IRMA SHINING STAR

I was not a fan of Governor Rick Scott till Irma. His performance during Irma has turned me. One hundred eighty degrees.

The man has performed outstandingly. And continues to so perform.

He knew Irma was coming and his State was in danger. He prepared. Florida could not have been more ready.

That alone turned me. However, his performance subsequent to Irma proves my change of mind to have been correct.

Scott was in Marathon yesterday for a meeting with various public groups working to help Keys’ residents. Expeditiously. Matters such as debris removal, temporary housing, small business assistance, etc.

He announced at the meeting that 400 Florida National Guard were being deployed to assist with debris removal. Six thousand tarps were on the way also.

Scott’s coordination with FEMA has been spectacular. Twenty seven thousand have registered for assistance already. Ten thousand approved thus far. Those approved have been funded to the tune of $14.9 million.

More has been accomplished.

Most telling is that yesterday was Scott’s seventh visit to the Keys because of Irma. Few of the visits receiving any notoriety.

His assistance each time more than handing out a few sandwiches.

The man performs.

Duval Street. Did the tour last night again. Conditions improving, though slowly. More store fronts visible. A few additional businesses open.

The trend re open for business is running from the Gulf towards the Atlantic. The bars and restaurants closer to the Gulf the first to open. By mid-Duval, a few more. At the other end of the spectrum, La Te Da opened sunday.

It will take till Fantasy Fest for things to return to normal.

The tree/foliage debris is beginning to stink. Awful. Especially after a rain fall. The humidity adds to the odor.

The Key West Citizen is only publishing two editions a week. Not because of Irma. A business decision. Its printing shortly moving to Miami.

I miss the Citizen! I subscribe on the internet and it was one of five publications I read first thing every morning. Local news is gone. Even where the weekly publications will pick it up. Not an everyday thing.

Started my evening last night at Aqua. Jean Thornton called from Alabama to advise there would be no Dueling Bartenders, though Tom Luna might sing a tune or two.

I needed to get out. Monday is Aqua night for me. So I went.

The bar itself filled with locals. A peppy group. Tom did not sing.

Met Ray and Tom. Ray a former Virginia judge. Look forward to running into he and Tom again. Good company.

Then to the Chart Room. Shaun bartending. Met Amy. An insurance representative from the midwest somewhere. Sent to Key West to do an informal report and evaluation of damage to certain of her company’s insureds. Preparatory to the claims people coming down.

Stopped at Denny’s on the way home for a bite to eat. Denny’s not my kind of place. However, I was there for breakfast with Robert and Ally a month ago and was impressed. Big, clean, shiny and new.

Good for a quick sandwich, I figured.

Sat at the bar. The only customer at the bar most of the time. Robi the bartender. We chatted a while. She has a son now 19 who has had significant heart problems since birth. Her war stories re not having insurance on occasion and her inability to get proper medical care for him tragic to hear.

I overstayed my time with Robi. When I returned to my car, the battery was dead. I had left the lights on. Thank God for AAA. I waited only 30 minutes to get a boost.

My cell phone’s Voice Mail apparently a victim of Irma also. I woke this morning to find 8 new messages running from 9/19 to 9/22. I assume lost in never never land because of Irma.

Puerto Rico being ignored. It appears Trump and Congress have forgotten that 3.5 million American citizens live there.

Government, get your ass in gear! They are our people!

My podcast tonight. The first in four weeks. Irma prevented me from doing the show during that time.

The show a quick half hour of interesting topics. Some eye openers. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou at 9 tonight. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Topics include Irma, past Keys hurricanes, China’s new credit card the customer’s smile into a screen, killer robots, opioids top tobacco use in U.S., the kneeling sport dilemma, Trump’s ignoring of Puerto Rico, North Korea, healthcare, and more.

Guaranteed informative. Many times from a different perspective.

Enjoy your day!

A MESS…..PARKING AND TRAFFIC

As Key West’s popularity grows, so too its parking and traffic problems. To the point of exasperation!

City leaders have done their best to remedy the problem. The City Commission has spent six figure money on studies.

Nothing has worked.

The newest approach…..Let the people work it out.

The City Commission is considering approving a six member temporary commission to make recommendations re parking and traffic congestion. The committee would sit for six months. Unpaid. Each Commissioner would appoint one person to the committee.

Can’t be worse than those who have been paid. Maybe better. Those who live in Key West year round have a better handle on the problem.

My sense is the only solution must be a dramatic one. Something not thought of yet. The obvious has not worked.

An observation never taken into consideration. Key West is a tiny island. Four by 1.5 miles. The island is capable of sinking.

A humorous observation! Written with tongue in cheek.

Another consideration is the successful advertising/selling of Key West. More and more visitors every year.

If getting around becomes a problem, if the crowd becomes overbearing, people will go elsewhere. Property values will become reasonable. Key West will return to the serenity of days gone by.

Might not be bad.

Aqua last night. Dueling Bartenders. Tom Luna and Rick Dery.  Bobby Nesbitt guest vocalist.

Liz and friends at the bar. Enjoyed chatting with Liz.

Towards the end of the evening, Larry Smith showed up. I was surprised. Larry rarely frequents Aqua. He said he was driving by and saw Tom, Bobby and me. Decided to stop.

Glad he did. Larry and I rarely see each other these days.

We discussed why. Simple, I said. We have known each other 25 years. We got old. We no longer do Duval Street or go to parties as we did. We are old enough to think a night in front of the TV is fun. There are fewer and fewer of us each year.

Horrible!

Houston and the Texas gulf coast terrible! Even today people are being saved. And the rain continues. I worry about one of the dams overflowing. the water held back is inches from the top.

The past few days have been Harvey’s time. The next few will continue so. In 2005, there was another hurricane. Katrina.  A category 3. Devastated New Orleans.

I mention Katrina because it was on this day in 2005 that Katrina made landfall.

Katrina has been regarded as the worst natural disaster in our history. Harvey will replace Katrina.

Remember Paul Newman in HUD. He carried a bottle of Jack Daniel’s around most of the movie.

Jack Daniel sales shot up. Men switched for a while. All wanted to look like HUD’s Paul Newman. The tilt of the head, walk, etc.

Want to share a bit about Jack Daniel’s.

Jack Daniel’s is a whiskey. The distillery opened in 1866 in Lynchburg, Tennessee. One year after the Civil War ended and the passage of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution which ended slavery.

A co-founder of the distillery was Jack Daniel.

A former slave became an employee of the new distillery. Nathan “Nearest” Green. Nearest knew everything about distilling whiskey. He soon became head stiller. In later years, the title was changed to master distiller.

Nearest was the first African-American master distiller of record in the United States.

His descendants have continued to work at Jack Daniel’s. Three of Nearest’s sons and four grandchildren while he was still alive. Several generations of descendants. Three working at Jack Daniel’s today.

Lynchburg has another distinction. Davy Crockett lived there a while.

You may wonder at this point why I am recounting Jack Daniel’s and Nearest.

Lynchburg rests in the heart of the Confederacy. Tennessee. Left the Union. Supported the South.

The name Lynchburg  struck me as strange. Lynching of blacks so popular they named a town after it? My initial reaction was pursuant to the political correctness of today, the name would have to be changed.

Made sense. Till I researched from whence the name came.

Judge Lynch. Some sort of War of 1812 hero. I could find nothing connecting him to slavery.

Should the name still be changed? It does bring to mind a grievous act involving blacks.

I leave the judgment to those who support the removal of statues and memorials.

There is a memorial that should come down. On the lawn in front of the County Courthouse in Lynchburg rests a monument to Confederate soldiers.

No question, it should come down under present standards of political correctness.

So there is no misunderstanding, my position is to leave any remembrances of the Confederacy alone. Like it or not, regardless of color, they are a part of America’s history.

My podcast tonight. Nine my time. Join me. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

So many topics. Not sure yet which I will explore in the show’s fast moving half hour.

Enjoy your day!

MY PODCAST TONIGHT

Tuesday comes quickly every week. My podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine in the evening my time. A fast half hour of opinionated sometimes eye opening talk. Join me. www.blog talk radio.com/key-west-lou.

Topics include Trump. His Afghanistan position, tonight’s Phoenix rally, Russia and China’s interest in Afghanistan, and challenging Pakistan.

Plus, what the Boston Common Rally really meant, India’s Supreme Court declaring Muslim three times I divorce you unconstitutional, killer robots, biggest gold discovery in history, Johnson and Johnson and baby talcum powder, and more.

A statue of Christopher Columbus was erected in Baltimore in 1792. Last nigh,t it was sledge hammered to the ground. Retribution for tearing down Baltimore’s Confederate statues and memorials?

Dueling bartenders at Aqua last night. Enjoyed Tom Luna and Rick Dery. Always a pleasurable time.

Liz there. We chatted a bit. Joe and Linda, also.

Then to the late Happy Hour at Tavern ‘n Town. Quiet. Very few people. The silence overwhelming.

I enjoyed a couple of drinks and an appetizer. Glanced through the Wall Street Journal.

An interesting article in this morning’s Key West Citizen re the amphitheater. It may be named the Jimmy Buffett Amphitheater. An appropriate name, if so.

Fantasy Fest two months away. Organizers already into the event. Friday evening at 6 at the Southernmost House, the races for King and Queen begin.

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. Police will be out in mass between now and the end of the Labor Day weekend looking for drunk drivers. Drink conservatively or not at all. Mug shots never look good.

I continue to live and learn. Were you aware dance instructor and bouncer were interrelated? Dance instructor is a euphemism for the old fashioned bouncer.

I end with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s comment to the neo-Nazis who marched in Charlottesville…..Your heroes are resting in Hell!

Enjoy your day!

 

MADMEN BOTH…..NUCLEAR APOCALYPSE

Two madmen facing off against each other. Not caring about their people. Caring about their images. Ready to blow up the world.

A nuclear apocalypse in the making.

God help us!

At first I thought it was Kim Jung Un playing his usual game. Not at all. Donald Trump has welcomed the challenge. The bravado that goes with it.

Instead of calm diplomacy, Trump adds fuel to the fire daily. Terms like…..Fired and ready…..Locked and loaded.

Face is especially important in the Far East. Jung Un is being backed into a corner.

Trump in the meantime is in all his glory. Watching him on television yesterday, he was on a high. On the biggest stage in the world. He has thrown the gauntlet down. Telling Jung Un in effect…..Don’t screw with me!

If nuclear war occurs, I can see Trump and Jung Un at the end. Each sitting on top of massive death and destruction in their respective countries. Each thinking as Jack Horner once said…..Oh, what a good boy am I!

My yesterday began pleasantly. As was the whole day. A haircut with Lori.

Then to Lisa’s to pick up Robert and Ally for an afternoon with Poppa.

I walked in. Everyone looked at me strangely. Robert and Ally had friends in. I saw Robert eating a sandwich. Why are you eating? We are going out for lunch?

Yes, we are going out for lunch. Not yesterday, however. Saturday. I screwed up. It happens at my age.

Last night the Chart Room. A unique time.

At some point the Chart Room was empty. Just David, John and Louis. For about 45 minutes. The silence overwhelming.

David and I sat at the round table. Enjoyed a terrific conversation. No background noises bothering us. Not enough booze imbibed to affect our thought processes.

It was great! David a thinker. Knowledgeable.

Then to Tavern ‘n Town for the 9-11 Happy Hour. Read the newspapers and enjoyed a light snack.

Jenna called me before I went out last night. We were to go out tonight together. She cancelled. She has a shoot in Fort Lauderdale and is leaving tonight.

She loves me no more!

We agreed we would get together next week.

Donna had telephoned before Jenna. Asked if I wanted to join my lesbian wives tonight. Said, no. Going to dinner with Jenna. Ten minutes later I was on the phone asking Donna if I could join she and Terri tonight.

My dates this evening, the wives! A fundraiser first at Bottle Cap. Then dinner somewhere.

Tom Luna. The best of the best. A good guy. A fixture at Aqua for years. He is leaving. Going to bartend at The Marker wednesday, thursday and fridays from 3-7. He will continue monday nights at Aqua for Dueling Bartenders.

Joanie. Painter Joanie. Bocce Joanie. Don’s Place Joanie.

I mentioned she was sick and at Kendall Hospital in Miami.

Joanie has been diagnosed. Stage 4 liver cancer.

Pray for her!

Key West has been reading William Hackley daily the past couple of years. Thanks to the Key West Citizen that is running excerpts from his diary.

I have suspected Hackley rented slaves. Not an owner. I also suspected Hackley was a good guy. No more.

He mentions in a diary entry this date in 1856 that he whipped Spring. Never heard of Spring before. Whipped him to make him obey.

Spring skipped away and ran home. When he returned, Hackley chained him and “whipped him well.”

Spring has to be either a slave or a dog. Whipping in neither instance acceptable. Hackley no longer held in the high esteem by me.

Finally, David Wolkowsky recognition. On this day in 1968, David opened the Pier House Motel. Today the site of the Pier House Resort. Big trees from little acorns grow.

David juvinated that end of Duval. He rejuvenated other areas of Key West. The Key West we know would not have been without him.

Enjoy your day!

TODAY SUMMER SOLSTICE

Good morning!

A lovely Key West day in the making.

Today is Summer Solstice. the longest day of the year. the day the sun is highest in the sky.

Happens twice a year. June 20 and December 22.

Last night began with Dueling Bartenders at Aqua. Tom Luna and Rick Dery. Lovely Heather guest performer. Heather adding a special touch.

The singing outstanding! The bar crowd mostly seniors. A lot of 50’s and 60’s tunes. A 70’s or 80’s thrown in here and there.

Met Sally. a Key Wester for 8 years. In her other life, she was a San Francisco police officer. Retired a detective.

Sally wanted a life in the law. Did a year of law school. Too subdued for her. Left law school and joined the police force.

Moved on to Tavern ‘n Town. You have no idea how thrilled I am that the season is over. I can now get a seat at the bar any time I want.

Enjoyed some good food while reading the newspapers.

George Bueno has been bartending at Tavern ‘n Town for 2 years. He had 10 plus years at two other places before Tavern ‘n Town grabbed him.

George is being recognized this week. He is Bartender of the Week. His picture and column appearing in the weekly Key West Week.

Any reason for a party! That’s Key west!

The Key Lime Festival saturday July 1. An only in Key West type event. At the Key West Lighthouse. A gravity defying key lime pie drop. From the top of the Lighthouse. Also  known as the Key Lime Drop Contest.

Pies provided. Four inches in diameter.

Goal is to drop the pie to a specified target without splattering it. Pie in the best condition wins. A trophy and a crisp $100 bill.

Contestants are permitted to create a device or container to protect the pie during its fall and impact.

Finally! Key West is getting Uber! Beginning July 1. The City Commission and Bubba system prevented Uber from operating two years ago when it wanted to begin. New state law prevents Key West from keeping Uber out as long as it meets state requirements.

The City Commission has a propensity for screwing up. Especially when erecting or remodeling a building. The cost goes up dramatically. The Commission always buys some half assed excuse and pays the additional monies.

This time it is the repair of the Frederick Douglas Gym in Bahama Village. The original estimate was $1.7 million. When the bids came in, the cost went up to $2.1 million. Now has ballooned to just under $2.3 million. And the work nowhere close to being done!

Working for the City many times is like having an open check book.

Another folly. There are three sight seeing franchises in Key West. Trolley, buses, etc. All three recently renewed their contracts with the City.

Traffic is a major problem these days. Actually, the major problem. Each of the agreements contain a clause that permits duck boats. In the event the Navy changes its mind and permits them.

Why do we need duck boats? There is not enough room for anything more on Key West streets. Previous duck boats were 39 feet long and 8 feet wide.

Permission should not have been granted. All parties should have waited till Navy approval or some remedy to make the duck boats acceptable. Then an amendment to the agreements could have been negotiated. With the traffic issue a main item of contention.

Ingenuity, mostly American, exists in our penal institutions. Contraband has been smuggled into federal and state jails in increasing numbers over the past five years. Contraband consisting of mobile phones, drugs and pornography.

Drones the method of delivery. Authorities are not equipped with the necessary technology to prevent the deliveries.

One of the finest persons I have met in Key West is Betsy Dietz. A kind charming woman. A good friend of Lisa’s. We have done Christmas Eve and Christmas Day together for over 10 years at Lisa’s.

Betsy recently passed on. A Celebration of Life will be held tomorrow at 5 at the Ocean Grill in Duval Square.

I am confident the crowd paying her honor will be overwhelming.

My podcast tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Join me at 9. A quick half hour of interesting topics. Many eye opening. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!