GEORGE WASHINGTON 2ND RICHEST PRESIDENT

Trump the richest President. No question about it. Who second?

George Washington.

Washington was worth $525 million. He owned land, businesses, a distillery, and slaves. His Presidential salary nothing to be ashamed of. Negotiated I assume by him. His salary annually was 2 percent of the U.S. budget.

Fine tuned my podcast show in the afternoon. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Most of the show was to be Trump and Judge Neil Gorsuch. My show was ready to go at 3. Had to wait. Show time not till 9.

Then everything hit the fan in Washington. More Trump problems. Involving some of his campaign team members. The Judge’s questioning before the Judiciary Committee put on hold.

All hell was breaking loose.

I reworked my show plan to accommodate the news.

Re Trump, he is a man sitting on a sunny beach not aware that a tsunami is approaching. The coming disaster inevitable. He in the middle of it.

Money laundering originating in Russia creeping into the news. Watch for it. The money laundering reached British and American banks.

Judge Neil Gorsuch a winner! I was impressed! A legal mind!

Though he is a conservative, he will vote liberal if the case calls for it. My impression.

Newly appointed Supreme Court Justices sometime change sides. The conservative votes liberal.

Eisenhower’s opponent for the Republican nomination in 1952 was California’s Governor Warren. A black hearted Republican. Nothing in his history to indicate anything else.

Warren was appointed Chief Justice. He immediately turned. Warren was one of the most liberal Justices in our nation’s history. Eisenhower lamented the one mistake of his Presidency was nominating Warren to the bench.

Then came Justice Souter. A small town Republican lawyer who was fortunate to become a New Hampshire Judge. A conservative one. Appointed to the Supreme Court, a metamorphism occurred. He became a dependable liberal vote.

I have been into pythons for five years. The Everglades replete with them. They are now moving into the Keys. One or two made it to Key West.

The State failed to timely pay attention to their growing numbers. Pythons frequently engage in sex. They have overrun the Everglades. The actual number unknown. Cannot be determined.

Experts claim eradication impossible. Too many. The aim to date has been to mange the python problem. Impossible. They reproduce faster than they can be killed.

Now comes Florida State Senator Artiles. He wants the State to pay private contractors to go into the Everglades and kill pythons.

A guaranteed exercise in futility.

Robots. One of my favorite topics for a year. They are here and more coming in increasing numbers. Human jobs will be lost.

Arabs are smart. The Dubai Police Force announced that they will begin using robots for certain police work beginning in May. They expect that by 2030, 25 percent of the force will be robots.

Mark Twain and his friend Thomas B. Reed spent this day in 1902 in Key West. Reed was Speaker of the House of Representatives at the time. They were on their way to Cuba. Party time.

Jimmy Walker was a famous New York City mayor in the roaring 1920’s and into the early 1930 Depression years. He became too friendly with the mob. Under investigation, he ran off to Europe with his wife.

Betty Compton his wife. Somehow she got to Key West in later years. On this day in 1941, Betty Compton divorced Jimmy Walker in a Florida Circuit Court sitting in Key West.

Harry Truman. One of Key West’s favorite persons. Truman loved Key West. Key West loves Truman.

On this day in 1951, Truman completed a three week vacation at the Little White House and returned to Washington.

Enjoy your day!

DOGFISH DEMANDS HOGFISH RENAME TO SPEARFISH

It’s called growing pains. Microbreweries/minibreweries have been gaining in popularity in recent years. Competition arises. The older guys don’t like the newer ones. Pressure arises. Pressure brought by the older companies upon the newer companies.

Hogfish have been around since time immemorial. Fished with a spear.

Dogfish have been around equally long. A  shark species.

A company in Delaware whose name contains Dogfish wants local Florida Keys Brewing Co. to change the name of one of its beers. Hogfish. To avoid confusion. Don’t want people ordering Hogfish thinking it is a Dogfish brew.

Ridiculous. I do not see it in this situation. No one has a singular hold on fish names. Especially under these circumstances.

Florida Keys Brewing may be considering capitulation. I can understand. Legal costs in such a case can be burdensome. Especially for a relatively new company.

I would take one last shot at the problem. Florida Keys Brewing should tell Dogfish they will change Hogfish to Spearfish if Dogfish changes its name to Shark.

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander!

Chart Room last night. Drunk lady not there. I assume she was a tourist. I had never seen her before and hope to never see her again. Bill bartending.

Ran into Ted. Ted from Wampsville, NY. How many of you have heard of Wampsville? Wampsville is a small community in central New York. County seat for Madison County.

Ted is a fellow lawyer. Spent most of his career as a court clerk. A responsible position. The brains behind the judge.

Ted has vacationed in Key West for years. This year for a whole month. Retired.

The past two years, Ted has stopped into the Chart Room looking for me. Our paths did not cross. We exchanged cell phone numbers and e-mail addresses to avoid such a problem in the future. We intend to have dinner together before he leaves.

Ted and I exchanged legal talk. I tried cases in the Madison County Courthouse over the years. I enjoyed the conversation. Lawyer talk. A while since I have had someone to do it with.

John was outside at the Beach Bar. Visited him. Cold!!! The Beach Bar sits on open water. Low 60s with 20 mph wind.

Met Brian and Shanon at the Beach Bar. Nice people. From Columbus, Ohio. I love Columbus. Spent many a day working there on Nationwide matters.

Brian a realtor. Shanon in HR work.

First time in Key West. Having a great time!

On the way home, stopped at Publix. Cupboard really bare. Spent twice what I normally do.

Watched a bit of the Syracuse/UNC-Greensboro game. Syracuse won 90-77.

William Hackley still having dental problems. 1856 had to be a painful year. He was up most of the night with intense teeth pain. Went to Dr. Walton’s office in the morning. Dr. Walton “sacrified” his gums and “cut down to the roots.”

Dentistry years ago not as it is today. Pain!!! I recall my visits in the late 1930s and 1940s. Today, almost painless.

I can imagine how painful it had to be in 1856. Dentistry? Or, butchery?

The North Roosevelt Boulevard cross-walks continue to be in the news. Someone wrote to Citizens’ Voice re the danger: “Next to all the cross-walks on North Roosevelt Boulevard should be kiosks where you can buy life insurance.”

Something bothers me. I am a liberal at heart. As most of you are aware. I believe conservatives generally are on the wrong track.

The Key West Library is permitting its facility to be used at noon today for a two hour meeting. The group the Florida Keys Indivisibles. Political. Democratic at heart. Popularly referred to as bird doggers.

The organization is an activist training seminar. Speakers I assume trained provocateurs. The cry to organize and oppose. Require legislators to attend a town meeting, attend town meetings yourself, tie up with similar groups across the etc.country, be confrontational,  etc.

Will the rhetoric of the campaign ever cease?

Sounds like a guerrilla training camp to me.

Bocce tonight.

Have to hustle. A haircut with Lori at noon.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

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!

 

HULA HOOP / CONCH SHELL BLOWING

A great Sunday out there! Sun shinning, nary a cloud. Wind unusually strong. Has been for a few days. Blowing down from the north. Makes the 80 degree temperature not feel warm. Comfortable.

Hula hoops hit the U.S. big time in 1963. Appeared in the market place for the first time this date in 1963.

A round plastic hoop. Hip swiveling and gyrating.

Within 4 months, 25 million had been sold.

My older children got into it. Tried to teach Dad. No way. I could not do it.

About five years ago, there was a hula hoop revival. Ally was six years old. She was an expert. could even do it around her neck.

She tried to teach Poppa. Again, I was a failure.

Sue Cassell worked at Don’s Place at the time of the revival. A young lady. Twentyish. A pro with the hula hoop. Amazing. Blinking lights wrapped around the hoop.

I took Ally to watch Sue.

The hula hoop had a part in Key West’s Annual Conch Shell Blowing Contest yesterday. Christie King of Big Pine hula hooped while blowing a large conch shell.

My intent was to watch Syracuse/Georgia Tech yesterday afternoon at Jack Flats with Dee. Followed by dinner some where.

Dee begged off. Experiencing dizzy spells. I decided to stay home and watch. Then skip out to dinner somewhere.

A mistake.

The game was not televised in Florida.

In any event, Syracuse won. Big! 90-61. Should help Syracuse get an invitation to the big tournament.

After the game, Dee telephoned. Dizziness gone. Let’s go to dinner.

We dined at Hot Tin Roof. The place packed. As are the streets of Key West. It is season!

Aristotle said …..Friendship is the chiefest good.

Dee and I have been friends for a quarter century. We see each other frequently for a while. Then not see each other for several years.

The Key West City Commission continues its perverted ways. They are eliminating parking spaces in residential areas to create bicycle lanes.

We need parking! The parking situation is desperate!

Harry Truman loved Key West and Key West loves Harry Truman.

On this date in 1948, Truman left Key West to return to Washington. Exactly one year later in 1949, he returned to Key West for a vacation.

William Hackley had the dentist Dr. Walton back at his home this day in 1856. Dr. Walton pulled two teeth from Hatty and six from Charlotte.

Don’t know if Hatty and Charlotte children or help. Sounds rough. Six teeth at one time.

There was a time when dentistry was a trade and not a profession. A side line practiced by barbers and blacksmiths. I suspect a profession by Hackley’s time as the title Doctor used.

By 1946, World War II was over. It had become evident that the Soviet Union was no longer a friend. Of the United States and other Allies who fought together to defeat Germany.

Winston Churchill on this date in 1946 spoke at Missouri’s Westminster College. President Truman on the stage.

Churchill’s eloquent words were delivered. Words never to be forgotten. Even to today. “An iron curtain has descended across the continent.” He described it as a Cold War.

Stalin responded from Moscow that the speech was “war mongering.”

Sound familiar?

Putin suggests the same when actions are taken by other nations which he considers not in the best interests of Russia.

We are in a new Cold War.

Sadness takes many forms. As does pain and suffering.

A picture appears on page 9A of this morning’s Key West Citizen. A picture of a 9 month old Somalian baby. Ali Hassan. Malnourished. Starving. Body bones clearly defined. Arms strange. Eyes bright.

Starvation has been an ongoing problem in Somalia. Now, a drought also. The article set forth that 110 had died in a 48 hour period ending yesterday.

Enjoy your Sunday! I suspect a pause at this point before you do. The thought of Ali and Somalian starving touching. Leaves one with an empty feeling.

HOGFISH WITH DONNA AND TERRI

A Key West evening of old last night. The way it used to be.

Dinner was at Hogfish with Donna and Terri. Except for a new thatched roof, Hogfish has been the same in the 26 years I have known Key West. A taste of old Key West.

Dined with Donna and Terri. I was their guest. Donna is a concierge. She sent enough customers to Hogfish so as to qualify for free meals and drinks for the three of us.

We ate hogfish. When in Rome, etc. Terri and I also enjoyed lobster bisque. To die for!

Conversation good. Terri in between chemo sessions. In happy spirits.

Always a pleasure to be with my lesbian wives.

There was entertainment. On the floor and at our table. Terri joined in singing many of the songs. As only Terri can.

I am having fun doing Facebook’s Go Live. Actually, Go Live with Key West Lou. You can see and hear me expound. Love it!

Yesterday, two segments.

The first concerned the whore of whores. Banks! They caused 2008. 9.3 million foreclosures, 2.5 million people out of work. No one went to jail.

Iceland had the same problem back in 2008. They sent the bankers to jail.

Spain has had a similar experience. However in this instance, bank CEOs and other hierarchy abused bank credit cards. To the tune of millions. The credit card abuse and other problems led to the banks looking to the taxpayers to bail them out. As we did in the U.S.

Spanish people like Icelanders. Said no way! Thirty some odd bankers charged, convicted and sent to jail for from 3-6.5 years.

Where were our balls back in 2008?

Financial institutions and corporations control Washington. They have danced for years to the tunes of financial institutions and corporations.

The other segment involved Sweden and Muslim immigrants.

Swedes are unusually good people. Always ready to help those in need. Whether Swedish or another nationality. Sweden took in many Muslims. The Muslims were not acclimating. Living the Swedish way of life.

Sweden saw the problem. One solution adopted was to take young and teen age Swedes and pay them to play with Muslims of similar age.

An experiment. Young swedes paid $6 an hour American money.

Worked good for about 4 weeks. Then a group of teen age Muslims boys gang raped a Swedish young lady who was part of the program.

End of the program.

Female abuse is part of the Islamic tradition. Questionable whether Muslim ladies will ever achieve equality and freedom from abuse. To be treated as people and not chattels.

Milo Yiannopoulos in Key West for a few days. He’s the one who came out last week condoning sexual relationships between adults and children.

A whack! He lost some good jobs last week. Deservedly so.

I hope Milo does not expect sex with kids in Key West. As open and free as Key West is, child abuse is not a part of our society.

Herman deBoer died yesterday. I did not know him. I do know two of his children, Guy and Dawn. Both whom I like very much and respect.

The father had to be a good man to have such children.

The father deBoer had an interesting life. He was born in Netherlands. Spent World War II in the Netherlands as a young man living under Nazi domination.

My friend Anna lived in Italy as a young child under Nazi occupation. The stories she has told me have to be comparable to those the senior deBoer observed and experienced.

May he rest in peace.

Harry Truman loved Key West. Key West loves Harry Truman.

One of Truman’s many visits began this date in 1948. Truman returned from Guantanamo Bay and spent eight days vacationing in key west.

Syracuse/Louisville tomorrow at 2. Should be interesting.

Enjoy your day!

HORSE MANURE…..FREE

Only in Key West…..Free horse manure. Composed. Fully cooked and garden ready.

The Police Department has two horses. Their waste collected, recycled, and offered free to the citizenry once a year.

The manure will be available this saturday at 10 am. The pink PAL gym near the entrance to the Fort Zachary Taylor State Park entrance.

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

The show begins with several Trump hits. His wrongdoings from my perspective.

Followed by special interest groups lobbying against marijuana, Chicago Police Department’s high suicide rate, police prepared with missile launchers to oppose Sioux Indians at Standing Rock, Mark Zuckerberg wanting to be President, and more.

Last night, a Chart Room evening. Quiet. Met Mike. He joined Victor and me in interesting dialogue. A couple of hours worth. Covered a multitude of sins.

Mike is an owner of Gas Monkey on Duval. The 200 block. Right in the middle of the action.

Technically known as the Gas Monkey Bar & Grill. Drinks and barbecued foods.

Mike now a local.

The Gas Monkey is cognizant of local business. Want it. Locals receive a 15 percent discount. On thursdays, 25 percent.

I will shortly be trying the place.

When I first began visiting Key West more than 25 years ago, water vessels were small. Rarely, a big yacht. And then, not that big.

Things have changed. Huge yachts not uncommon.

The biggest so far sits moored off Sunset Key. The Super Yacht Venus. Two hundred fifty seven feet. Crew of 22. Built by Apple founder Steve Jobs.  Jobs died before its completion. His widow Laurese Powell now owner and master.

Tonight, Syracuse/Clemson. Clemson a 2 point favorite. Game at 8. Hopefully Syracuse can continue its recent winning ways.

In 1959, I was a senior in law school at Syracuse. Former President Harry Truman was visiting. The University set up a private luncheon for its purported 12 outstanding students. I was selected to represent the law school.

Two round tables. Seating cards. My seat was immediately to the right of Truman. The whole luncheon exciting! Especially, Truman!

Truman spoke of his unexpected victory over Dewey in 1948. No way Truman could win. Similar to no way could Trump win.

Truman won.

The media wanted to get out early with the election results. On radio and in the newspapers.

H. V. Kaltenborn, in his horsey voice, announced to all the world that Dewey had won. The Chicago Tribune’s headline was Dewey Wins!

Egg on both their faces.

Years later at the Syracuse luncheon, Truman was excited that Kaltenborn and the Chicago Tribune had screwed up. He got ’em!

The Boston Globe joined the ranks of media who came out early with an erroneous result. The Patriots/Falcons game. The front page article titled: A Bitter End. Referring to the defeat of the Boston Patriots.

Neither the Patriot victory nor the Boston Globe miscue ever to be forgotten.

An example of police brutality that should not have been.

It was March 17, 2013. Early morning. The place Los Angeles. Kim Nguyen a graduate student in an MBA program.

Kim apparently had too much to drink. Publicly drunk. She was arrested. Her hands cuffed behind her. She was placed in the back seat of a police car. A police officer with her.

The police officer did not seat belt her nor lock the door next to her. Both required procedures.

On the way to the police station, the officer tried to rape her. Nguyen fighting him off best she could. His hands were to her bare crotch and breasts. The bottom of her dress torn from her.

Nguyen moved back against the door to protect herself. The vehicle was doing 30 mph. The door opened. She fell out. Landed on her face. Broken jaw and lost all her teeth. Jaw wired shut. She spent 17 days in the hospital.

Nguyen settled her case against Los Angles last week for $3.5 million. A proper ending.

Go Live with Key West Lou on Facebook going well. Increasing numbers every day. Comments 100 a day, give or take a few either way. I have only been at this show since last thursday. I am thrilled.

Join me on Facebook’s Go Live. Enter Key West Lou. See and hear me pontificate on something for a few minutes. A very brief few minutes. Sometimes less than a minute. Several times a day.

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!

 

 

 

NO MONEY NO CHEMO

Life or death depending on money. On ability to pay.

That is where we are at with many in our country.

Donna and Terri have had some hard times the past two years. Some things had to give. One was health insurance.

Terri is sick. She has been diagnosed with a rare blood disease Little Chain Deposition. In addition, multiple myeloma.

Neither good.

The lower Keys Medical Center was terrific. Terri was there a week. Underwent all kinds of tests. Diagnosed. The hospital and doctors were advised up front that Terri had neither insurance nor sufficient monies to pay.

It made to difference to the hospital. They provided Terri with excellent care. The same hospital that has been severely criticized recently.

Terri now needs chemotherapy. The hospital does not provide chemo. She has to go to a physician’s office. One that specializes in illness such as Terri has.

The cost of the chemotherapy is $750 per visit. She needs chemo twice a week. Totals $1,500 a week. Additionally, $1,000 a month for drugs.

The chemotherapy physician’s office told her no money, no chemo. It was a for profit operation.

Terri is without choice. She will die. Obviously sooner than later.

I can understand the doctor’s office turning Terri away. He has a ton of overhead, an expensive staff of professionals, etc. If not paid, he would not be in business long. Not able to provide to any one the life saving treatment he does.

That philosophy does not help Terri, however.

Terri is too young for Medicare.

The system cries out for true universal health care. One with one payor. Like Medicare.

A fund has been established to help Terri with her initial expenses. One to get her started. The goal is $9,000. Over $5,000 has already been raised.

Please do what you can.

A Go Fund Me fund has been established: go fund me.com/terri-white-medical-fund/donate.

Help Terri today.

The City Commission voted last night to return the Tiger to the corner of White and United. The Tiger’s original site.

The original site won out by one vote. The issue has been before the Commission for months. Absolutely amazing how Key West politicos can spend so much time on a simple issue. Whereas, they have been known to authorize millions in little time and with insufficient information. Priorities misplaced.

My blog is short this morning. Between Terri and an early appointment, I am unable to get into Installment 15 of my Key West Rotary history banter. I am disappointed. It is interesting. Covers the Rotary and the Edward Strunk Jr. story. Strunk’s history in and of itself inspiring.

Strunk tomorrow!

Enjoy your day!

GATO HOUSE GHOSTS

Key West is home to many ghosts. Key Westers take the ghostly viewings amusingly but seriously.

One of the ghost stories involves the Gato House aka Casa Gato. Located at 1209 Virginia Street. People residing there.

What follows is my installment 12 derived based on a Key West Rotary history.

The Gato House ghost story begins for our purposes with the Key West Rotary luncheon June 2, 1932. The Rotary and Ladies of St. Paul’s Church were involved with the luncheon. The proceeds were donated to the Mercedes Hospital. The Mercedes hospital today the Gato House located at 1209 Virginia Street.

The Gato House was built by one of Key West’s early leading citizens. Eduardo H. Gato. A Cuban immigrant who made his fortune in the cigar business.

He built his Key West home at an end of the island facing the ocean. He purchased the lot in 1887.  Construction was completed in 1890. He brought carpenters from Cuba to build the house.

In 1911, Gato permitted a philanthropic group of Cuban residents to use the building as a hospital for indigents. Gato and his family no longer resided in the house.

Gato had one request. He wanted the hospital named in honor of his wife Mercedes. So done. The hospital was named Casa de la Pobre Mercedes Hospital. Referred to as Mercedes Hospital.

In 1919, Gato sold the property to the City of Key West. He retained title to the building itself. The property sold to the City later became Bayview Park.

The building was still being operated as the Mercedes Hospital. It was moved to its present location at 1209 Virginia Street. Same name, different address.

The Mercedes Hospital was run most of its years by Maria Valdez de Gustens. Addressed as Mother Gustens. Described by all as an angel and saint.

The Mercedes Hospital continued till some time around the beginning of World War II when it closed.

The former Mercedes Hospital  in due course became an apartment house. Commonly referred to as the Gato House. In the interim between being the Mercedes Hospital and an apartment house, the building was empty, windows broken. The rear of building became a popular place for cockfights to be held.

Since becoming an apartment house, it has acquired an additional description. A ghost house.

Jan Stefano was residing in one of the apartments. Night time. She was in bed sleeping with her boy friend. She felt someone touching her wrist. She woke immediately.

She observed a short stout woman at her bedside. Her hair in a bun. Wearing a gray dress with long sleeves and a high collar. Standing next to the woman was a man. The woman appeared to be in charge. Stefano thought the woman was taking her pulse. When she turned to wake her boyfriend, the ghosts disappeared.

Whether the ghosts have been sighted since, I have not been able to ascertain.

Most Conchs and long time Key Westers believe the event occurred and that Mother Gustens walks the house looking after its occupants.

My yesterday…..

Lazy. Some research and writing. Sloan back from Europe. We worked together in the afternoon.

The evening spent at Berlin’s with Liz. An enjoyable and interesting companion.

Bria her usual beautiful self.

I am still dieting. It will be one week tomorrow morning. No cheating yet. Ordered a 2 pound Maine lobster boiled. No vegetables. Only the lobster.

No drinking, either. It was water for me.

I had checked a calorie counter before going out for dinner. A 2 pound lobster has negligible calories.

One problem. I was hungry after consuming the lobster. Most of the 2 pounds is in the shell.

Berlin’s packed. Really packed. Waiting for tables inside A&B Lobster House. Monied people. Otherwise, they would not be able to afford the boats they race and the crews required to maintain them.

Today is the last day of the Powerboatboat races. If you have not seen, go! An experience!

This morning’s Key West Citizen listed voting figures. One impressed me. Monroe County consists  primarily of the Keys. 79.9 percent of registered voters cast ballots. A big number! Upstate New York my home for 70 years. Never anything near that percentage voted.

Syracuse beat yesterday by North Carolina State. 35-20. Not an excuse. Our star quarterback Eric Dungey could not play because of injuries. I suspect Syracuse would have won if he had.

The balance of the season does not look good. Even if Dungey is able to play. Our last two opponents are Florida State and Pittsburgh.

Next Sunday is Transgender Day of Remembrance. Several Key West transgenders died this past year. Some suicides. The reason the day is one of remembrance.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

FDR ON HIS HOUSEBOAT IN FLORIDA KEYS

I continue to learn.

This time that Franklin Delano Roosevelt spent the winter months 1924-1926 on a houseboat in the Florida Keys.

We have Karen Chase to thank for the knowledge.

FDR’s legs were paralyzed. It was thought warm air and warm water would help his condition. FDR and his friend John Lawrence bought a used 71 foot houseboat. They christened it Larooco.

FDR spent two consecutive winters cruising on the Larooco in the Florida Keys.  Fishing and swimming.

We would never have known had it not been for Karen Chase discovering FDR’s daily log covering the trips. Chase discovered the log a few years ago. She put the log into book form.

FDR On His Houseboat – The Larooco Log, 1924-1926 was introduced to the public two days ago at Hyde Park.

The Custom House has invited Chase to speak about FDR’s time on the Larooco as part of its Distinguished Speaker Program. She is scheduled to appear at the Custom House November 17.

Visualize FDR living on the houseboat. Paralyzed, yet fishing and swimming. In our beloved Florida Keys. A story!

It is finally at an end. The Presidential campaign. I will be voting for Hillary later this morning.

I started my diet yesterday. Made it through day 1. I did not leave the house at all yesterday. It was the only way I could avoid the near occasion of sin for me. Food and drink. I know my limitations.

Spent the afternoon working on tonight’s blog talk radio show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Great topics. Some thought provoking. Like the failure of government to see and do anything about two new areas of unemployment in the next four years.

Also, Comey letter #2, a Venezuela update where Vatican intercession has failed, Steven Seagal becomes a Russian citizen, Saudi Arabia extending its lobbying efforts to U.S. governors, a dozen drugmakers under grand jury investigation, a possible cyber war, the real reason behind the ongoing Syrian War, and more.

Join me at 9 my time. Guaranteed interesting! www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

On this day in 1960, John F. Kennedy was elected President. The nation was excited. The Eisenhower years had been good. Somewhat subdued, however. Kennedy was young and appeared vibrant. He had a young beautiful wife and family.

His years were called Camelot. America would achieve the best of everything. Excitement prevailed.

Unfortunately, Kennedy did not have enough time. He was assassinated in 1963. The dream died.

Harry Truman loved Key West and Key West loves Harry Truman.

A statement I cannot make too many times.

On this date in 1948 and 1951, Truman returned to Key West to work and vacation. It is reported re the 1948 trip that Truman landed at Boca Chica. Twenty five thousand people cheered him on the drive to the Little White House.

The Key West Rotary. Installment 8.

One day. April 4, 1927.

A thursday. Rotary International President Paul P. Harris had left monday. Thursday was the regularly scheduled luncheon meeting for the Key West Rotary.

A big day. Time wise and work wise.

Members had been notified to come to the meeting in overalls. Overalls being the term used I assume for shoulder type dungarees or some other type work pants.

Work the members did! They removed rubbish the length of Duval Street. The event known as Scour Duval for Rubbish Thursday.

The clean up was done in conjunction with the Woman’s Club and the Chamber of Commerce.

Trucks were donated by businesses and individuals. The Rotarians manned them. Twenty trucks. One truck per block of Duval. The rubbish collected was taken to the city dump to be incinerated.

The meeting was also the election meeting.

Robert F. Spottswood was elected President. The Spottswoods have enriched Key West for years. Conchs. The family through the generations community minded.

I assume the new President was grandfather to the present day Robert Spottswood. Robert and wife Elena are my friends. Ever helpful. Work hard on behalf of Key West. One of Robert and his family’s present successes is the Marriott Beachside.

Rotary members went all out to be helpful during the 1920s. They could not do enough for Key West. An inspired group.

George A. T. Roberts was elected Sergeant at Arms at the same time Spottswood was elected President. He died three years into his term. His stone is inscribed with the Rotary motto: Service Above Self.

The men were believers all!

Enjoy your day!