Well…..It was a great day! I never want to eat again!

Thanksgiving dinner at Lisa’s with the family.

Lisa out did herself!

I ate it all! Filled my dish twice. Made up for three weeks of dieting.

We ate at 1. I fell asleep on Lisa’s couch afterwards. Woke and drove home. Still tired from the meal. Went to bed and slept for three hours.

Robert and Ally growing. Robert tall. Ally only 11. I noticed yesterday she is moving from child to young lady. Her face has filled out. Features distinct. A beauty in the making!

This weekend a big one for Stock Island. The I Love Stock Island Fest. Tonight, a community fish fry at the Stock Island Village Marina. 5:30-9:30.

A weekend of fun. The Fest celebrates the heritage and history of Stock Island.

Take a drive around the island this weekend. Stock Island is changing.

Syracuse/South Carolina basketball tomorrow at 2. Last week it was South Carolina State. This week, the private university.

Should be a good game. Syracuse 4-0, South Carolina 5-0.

Terry Schmida has an interesting article in this morning’s KONK Life E-Blast. The story of Bascom Grooms IV. A local successful realtor.

I mention Grooms IV because he is the great great grandson of Bascom Grooms who was President of the Key West Rotary in 1928. An individual I have mentioned several times in my rendition of Wright Langley’s History of the Key West Rotary.

The Rotary history continues. Installment 21.

World War II history very sparse. Absent from Langley’s work. Why, I do not know nor was I able to figure out why.

The years following World War II likewise sparse. Not as bad, however.

The War Assets Administration owned Clarence Higgs Memorial Beach. The Key West Rotary spearheaded a movement to have Monroe County purchase the area.

The effort was successful. Monroe County purchased Higgs Beach for $28,000 on November 4, 1947.

Charlie Toppino and Sons agreed to enlarge the beach area with sand. In return, the County sold Toppino the rock at  $ .30 a yard.

In the summer of 1947, the Club launched a new program. To send one of the Key West High School’s outstanding seniors to Girls’ State in Tallahassee. An honor to be the one selected.

Merli Hilton was selected. Merli later became the wife of Rotarian Charles “Sonny” Mc Coy. Mc Coy in due course served as Mayor of Key West.

Late in February 1948, the Rotary Ann Club held a Ladies night at La Concha. Norma Dopp was President of the Rotary Ann Club at the time. Her husband Robert Dopp served as President of the Rotary 1949-50.

What follows is the last portion of Crete’s  Jim Brown’s response to my inquiry as to why the Greeks demonstrated against Obama during his recent visit.

November 15 was the night of the Athens demonstration.

Obama was on his final foreign tour as President. He arrived in Athens on November 15.

Obama met with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras upon arriving. He was honored at a state dinner in the evening. While the demonstration was occurring.

Following friendly and congratulatory remarks by Tsipras, Obama spoke to Greece’s economic problems. He recognized Greece’s “painful time.” Re the European Union, he said it “…..cannot simply look to austerity as a strategy.” Re the Greek people themselves, he said it was “…..incredibly important that the Greek people see improvements in their daily lives.”

Tsipras came to power last year based on his promise there would be no further agreement to austerity measures. He did not keep his word. He capitulated. Somewhat like Bush I’s read my lips, no new taxes.

My Greek friends indicate Tspiras is finished when new elections occur.

Jim reports that Tsipras’ left wing government touted Obama’s visit, before and after, as a vindication of its policies. Self-serving.

Note that Tsipras’ government is a leftist one. The same people who were demonstrating outside the dining hall while Tsipras was inside praising Obama.

Obama’s visit would have helped more if it came sooner. With only two months left in Obama’s time as President, there is little he can do for Greece. Nevertheless, Obama’s visit was viewed as a positive by the Greek people.

I want to thank my Crete friend Jim Brown for his lengthy response to my inquiry. He provided behind the scenes knowledge that the American media did not.

Enjoy your day!







This blog has moved into its 11th year. I have made many friends via the blog over the years. World wide. A few I have been fortunate to meet. Others, not. However the level of communication has been sufficient that I feel I know them personally. Like we get together for a drink together now and then.

One “close friend” is Crete’s Jim Brown. Crete is one of the Greek isles.

Jim is a transplant from Great Britain to Crete. A resident of Crete for many years. Married with family. Earns a living by entertaining. A band. His band.

We occasionally chat via Facebook re politics.

I wrote Jim last week concerning Obama’s poor reception while visiting Greece. Seven thousand protested against him, the American flag burned, etc. The media suggested the Communists responsible.

I did not understand. The Communist Party in Greece is negligible. The powerful out of office party is the Nazi Party. Know as the New Dawn.

I wrote Jim re my concerns. He responded.

He does not believe the protests were anti-American. The Greek people are pissed. They like to vent. Need to vent. They are generally upset with the powers to be internationally. They do not believe the rest of the world gave them support in their “war” against Merkel and the Euro Union.

He said I should not be concerned about the American flag being burned. The protesters burned a Greek flag also.

Brown believes Tsipras sold them down the river, that austerity is crippling the Greek people.

The suicide rate has tripled. He writes these are “sad times my friend.”

He mentioned the Nazi Party hates all foreigners. He did not believe they were involved in the protests.

An absence in his e-mail was he never mentioned the Communist Party or Communism or a Communist part in the protests.

Does his silence re the Communist aspect say anything?

Worked with Sloan yesterday afternoon. Soon, I will be streaming on You Tube. In addition to everything else I am doing.

Bocce playoffs later in the day. Fun. Don’s Place got beat by monday’s #4 team.

Florida State beat Syracuse 45-14. Only one game left. Pitt. Then the season will be behind us.

Dinner tonight with Liz and her house guest. Another law school dean. Should be an interesting evening.

Typical Key West result. The new City Hall was to be dedicated tomorrow. The ribbon cutting. Announced in this morning’s Key West Citizen that there will be no ribbon cutting. The building not ready yet.

The Mosquito Control Board announced that it will be going ahead with genetically modified mosquito testing. Not in Key Haven, however. Key Haven residents voted it down in the recent election. The Board is looking for another key to run the test.

Weather has changed. We are going into winter. Cool this past week. No air conditioning required evenings. Sleep with the windows open. Rarely need air by day.

The temperature level is good. High 70s by day and low 70s by night.

Key West Rotary minutes 1935 reflect the influence of the federal government in resurrecting Key West from the depression, the 1935 Labor Day hurricane, and the demise of Flagler’s railroad. The three had kicked Key West in its ass.

A board meeting was held on December 16, 1935 at Strunk.s new home on Flagler. Federal support was discussed. Favorably.

Responsible was the Works Progress Administration (WPA).

La Semana Alegre was scheduled for the week of February 2, 1936. Also known as the Week of Joy Festival.

Ninety thirty five found the WPA successful in many ways in assisting a Key West recovery.

One the performance of Pirates of Penzance scheduled during La Semana Alegre.

A side note. Snowbird Diana Millikan is writing what she hopes will be a novel regarding WPA’s showing of the Pirates of Penzance in Key West. Her research deep. Her writing skills excellent.

Some background concerning the WPA and Key West. One of FDR’s programs to get America on its feet again.

As a result of the hurricane, demise of the railroad and the depression, Key West had become one of America’s poorest cities. Eleven thousand residents were receiving some form of federal assistance.

The WPA saw the possibility of a metamorphosis. To turn Key West into a tourist mecca. The purpose to make Key West a destination for people with money to spend.

WPA viewed Key West as a cultural destination. Artists, writers, etc. The WPA spent money beautifying Key West’s streets, homes and landscapes. A one year make over basically.

A no screwing around plan. Get in and get it done. Which the WPA did.

By the end of 1935, thousands had visited Key West for the first time. Ordinary people looking for an out of ordinary vacation spot.

The Key West Rotary planned to take advantage of the new Key West by scheduling a several city Rotary meeting for Key West during the February Week of Joy.

The thought occurs how differently things were in the 1930s when contrasted with today. Roosevelt’s government moved its ass to get things done. Key west an example. Nothing gets done that quickly today.

Enjoy your Sunday!


Poker Run 2015 is over. Most of the bikers left Key West yesterday afternoon. Roaring. In greater numbers than they came in. As many as 40 at a time.

Those who did not leave yesterday will leave this morning. The roar again.

A successful weekend. No trouble. The bikers not a problem. Bars had to do a big business.

I spent many hours yesterday writing this week’s KONK Life column. It publishes wednesday. The column took unusually long to write. Details. The title: U.S. War Ready? I strongly suggest you read it. Not necessarily for pleasure. For information you may not otherwise be aware.

Roostica for dinner. Spaghetti with meatballs, sausage, and pork. Just like my Grandmother made!

Olga waited on me. Obvious she is from another land. She has an accent. Business was slow. We had a chance to talk.

I was interested in where she came from and details of life there. Olga was born and raised in the old Soviet Union and then under whatever the name of her free country. I could not catch the name. It was not familiar.

Her homeland is far to the east in Russia. Near the Chinese border.

We talked of education. Interesting. Most stories similar to Flora’s. Some different.

Olga loves the USA!

The New York Times carries a shocking front page news release this morning. Afghan village commanders have sex slaves they keep handcuffed to their beds. Young boys. Apparently part of Afghan tradition. Called bacha bazi.

American soldiers could hear the boys screaming at night. They were told not to pay attention nor interfere. It was part of Afghan custom and to be tolerated.

What the hell are we doing over there? Their ways are thousands of years old. We will change nothing.

Pope Francis arrives tomorrow. He will speak at some point to a joint session of Congress. Some Republicans are complaining. and not with the respect the Catholic leader is entitled to.

The complaining Republicans think the Pope is too liberal. He believes in climate change, equality of pay, is opposed to gun manufacturers. All social problems. All within the purview with which he should have concern. All matters Republicans prefer to ignore.

They fail to mention the Pope is anti-abortion.

Greek elections a surprise. Tsipras reelected. His Syriza Party won handily. A sign the Greeks respected his efforts in spite of the fact that he failed regarding the Eurounion debt. I am confident Tsipras will take another shot at the problem in due course. Never say die!

Oh, my Syracuse! Three consecutive wins. The true test next saturday. Against ranked LSU. The Vegas line is LSU by 24.

Enjoy your day!




Fourth of July. Independence Day. Happy July 4th everyone!

Tonight big in Key West. Fireworks at the White Street Pier. A huge party at the Casa Marina. People everywhere watching the fireworks. Easy to watch from most places on the island. Standing on street corners and sitting on porches. Fun time!

The day has historical aspects, also. In addition to being celebrated as the birth of the United States.

Technically, Independence Day is not July 4. It is July 2. On July 2, 1776, the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence. Whereas, July 4 was the day the Declaration began to be signed. It was not signed by all that day. It took a month to get everyone’s signature.

The Founding Fathers thought July 2 would be forever celebrated as Independence Day. Somehow July 4 took on the honor.

Three Presidents in a row died on July 4.  John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were two who signed the document. They both died on the same day. July 4, 1826. James Monroe is considered a Founding Father, though not a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He died on July 4, 1831.

Fantastic music and July 4 go together. Great patriotic songs. John Sousa type music. For years, it was the Boston Pops Orchestra. I looked forward to watching. The Boston Pops was knocked off national TV after 2012. The claim viewing was down 20 percent. The Boston Pops is still carried locally on TV in the Boston area, however.

The big musical TV event now is the Capitol Fourth. Full name, A Capitol Fourth. On the lawn of the Capitol. Five hundred thousand in attendance. Followed by  the best fireworks in the land.

I will be viewing the Washington show on TV. I gave up going to the scene of the Key West fireworks several years ago. Merely a mood change. I miss saying hello to friends. However, I enjoy the comfort of laying back and watching on TV from home and listening to some great music beforehand.

Dave was 65 years old yesterday. Happy birthday, Dave!

We partied at the Hot Tin Roof last night in his honor. David, his son Keith, grandson Justin, Jennifer, Don, Stan, Claire, and me. Fun time!

Ran into Rick Boettger and Cynthia Edwards at the bar earlier. Two great people. Their home the first of three places where I fell on three consecutive days. Rick and Cynthia speak out publicly re issues of public concern. Always correct. Enjoy them both!

Anna reports. Demonstrations every day in downtown Athens. Not just in front of Parliament. On the adjoining streets also. Bigger numbers than the first night. Last night 25,000 listened to Tsipras speak. A few blocks away, the other side was demonstrating. Fifteen thousand. The vote Sunday important.

Italy’s President came out the other day in favor of the Eurounion. Yesterday, leaders of the Italian far left were in Athens to support Tsipras’ government, which is a far left one also.

It was tee shirt time. Black tee shirts with OXI printed on them. OXI means No. Vote No to accepting the Eurounion’s plan.

Greek’s Nazi Party is known as Golden Dawn. Represents the far right. Golden Dawn has been quiet during the demonstrations. Beware, these neo Nazis are standing in the shadows in the event an opportunity arises to take control. Anna says that members of the Italian Nazi Party were in Athens wandering around. Known as Alba Dorata, which means Golden Door. They are in Athens supporting their Greek brothers.

Anna is presently on the plane to Santorini. I am interested to learn her observations of the situation as it exists on Santorini. Santorini is a prosperous island. I suspect its citizens will be in support of the euro and Eurounion.

Enjoy your Fourth!