IRMA EVACUEE REUNION

First stop last night was Tammy. My manicurist.

The woman a charm. A mere 34 years old. Born Vietnam. In the U.S. 14 years. Already a proud U.S. citizen. She and husband Rick owners of a thriving nail business.

Always enjoy my half hour with her. We talk of many things.

Then to the main event. Irma evacuee reunion. Those of us who fled the hurricane and ended up spending 12 days as the “guests” of Jean and Joe Thornton at their Birmingham, Alabama home.

Five of us and three dogs.

We bonded.

Only one failed to make the reunion. Dan. Ann, Haywood, Joanne and her friend Tim, me, and the Thorntons at Alonzo’s.

We drank, ate and overall had a good time. Just as it was in Birmingham those 12 days when we were hiding from Irma.

I wrote Irma and Me based on the evacuee situation. Publisher still has not got it out. Thought it would be available for sale three weeks ago. Still waiting.

Most of us ended up at the Chart Room following Alonzo’s. Packed. Streets empty. The Chart Room overflowing. Tourists. I suspect our group were the only locals.

A stimulating evening for me.

Met Jenni and Spence from West Memphis, Arkansas. A great couple!

Jenni a former history teacher. I liked her right away. Now, a high school librarian. Charming and beautiful. Husband Spence a farmer. Soybeans and rice. The farm 5,500 acres. A corporation. Employs 10.

No strangers to Key West. Visit frequently.

Celebrating Spence’s 38th birthday.

I spent most of the evening talking with Spence. An education! Spence is knee deep in the farm situation, Monsanto, pending tax litigation. All tied together. He and an uncle own the farm. They work hard to keep it in their hands and not have to sell to another entity.

A constant battle. Though not hurting financially, the battle one for survival.

Spence opened my eyes to many things.

An interesting announcement in this morning’s Key West Citizen. KWAHS and the Tennessee Williams Key West Exhibit are merging. The Williams portion will continue operation at 513 Truman Ave.

Tennessee Williams lived 40 plus years of his life on Duncan Street. He authored The Rose Tattoo. During this week in 1954, Hollywood began filming The Rose Tattoo two doors up from Tennessee Williams’ home. Bert Lancaster and Anna Mangani starred. Mangani received the Oscar for Best Actress for her performance.

My daughter Lisa and family live one block in the other direction on Duncan from the Williams home.

I continue to live and learn. A commandant of the U.S. Marines was born in Key West. General Leonard F. Chapman, Jr. Born November 3, 1913. Served as the 24th Commandant of the Marines, 1968-1972.

Ran into Bill from Boston again a couple of nights ago. Would like to run into him again. An interesting person.

We talked college football the first night. I a Syracuse grad. He, Boston college.

The other night he mentioned as we passed a Boston College glory year. Not sure whether 1920 or 1922. Both glory years for Boston!

In 1920, Boston college beat Holy Cross in the season’s final game. Boston went 8-0 that year.

Nineteen twenty two another big Boston College year. Beat Holy Cross 17-13 before a crowd of 54,000. A record for attendance at the time.

Syracuse/Florida State today. Florida State a 6 point favorite. Syracuse could win.

I continue to believe the economic recovery is built on sand. The high market numbers artificially inflated by global central banks. The rich getting richer. the poor, poorer.

A recent study indicated 78 percent of Americans live pay check to pay check. Also, 71 percent are in debt.

Trump left for Asia yesterday. An 11 day trip. He will visit 5 countries.

One is China. Trump is out of his class when it comes to China’s President Xi Jinping.

Trade will be a big issue. China in a much better position than the U.S. as regards trade. If Trump achieves anything, it will be minimal.

An under current in the discussions will be oil and the petrodollar. Way back when, an agreement was entered into where most of the oil trading countries would sell oil using American dollars. A boon for the U.S. Helps keep the value of the American dollar high.

A month ago, Trump thought he was screwing Venezuela’s President Maduro. He sanctioned the hell out of Venezuela. Basically forcing American banks and business persons to stop doing business with Venezuela.

Unfortunately, Trump cannot see beyond his nose. Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reserves. Maduro announced that henceforth Venezuela would not sell its oil based on the American petrodollar. It would sell based on the Chinese petro-yuan.

The first major oil producer to break the age long pact that the American dollar was to be used. China happy. Russia, also. Other countries may follow. The result will be the devaluation of the American dollar.

Such will take place over a number of years.

Good job, Mr. President! As you claim, you are one smart man!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

POEMS ARE MADE BY FOOLS LIKE ME, BUT ONLY EMALYN MERCER CAN SAVE A TREE

Change a couple of words and Joyce Kilmer’s famous lines from Trees becomes a well deserved tribute to Key West’s Emalyn Mercer. She saved two huge tongue trees.

It was early morning. Emalyn still in her pajamas. She heard the buzzsaws. Buzzsaws cutting down trees on her block. The trees in front of her mother’s home at 701 Catherine Street appeared in line to be cut down.

Emily ran out and tried to climb the tree. Her husband brought a ladder. Up she went. A sign appeared…..Save the Trees.

Emalyn perched on the tree for two hours. The buzzsaws went away. Probably to return.

Emalyn, a hero.

Key West has a Tree Commission that orders trees native to Key West to be cut down and replaced with a tree not native to the area. It appears the goal of the Tree Commission is to have similar trees throughout Key West. The approach not Key West nor consistent with a community that has represented within its borders every type person. Diversity called for. Not what the Tree Commission is doing.

Harry Truman is another Key West hero, though his exploits occurred elsewhere.

Key West loves Harry Truman. Truman loved Key West. He vacationed here a total of 175 days covering 11 separate trips.

Yesterday marked the day in 1948 when Truman won election to the Presidency over Thomas Dewey. An unexpected result.

The media was convinced Dewey would trounce Truman. Truman was not a popular President.

It appeared the nation was against him.

Truman opted to do a whistle stop campaign across the country. He stopped at communities big and small. He spoke to those gathered from the back platform of the last car.

I recall his stop in Utica. I was in the eighth grade. Two of my buddies and I rode our bicycles to the railroad station to hear the President. He had already started his talk.

The place was packed. People all over the tracks, etc. listening. We could neither see nor hear the President from the back of the crowd.

We did the necessary. We rolled our bikes right up in front of the platform from which Truman was speaking. There was about five feet separating the President’s car and crowd.

Truman’s talk was the same at each stop. The country was having problems because of a do nothing Congress. Do nothing Congress his verbiage.

We had the best seats in town! We were excited to be there and proud to have been able to be that close to a President of the United States.

Truman had all kinds of insulting occurrences during the campaign. He was not getting Presidential respect from many. One example his whistle stop train traveling somewhere in the middle of nowhere. The train stopped. The conductor told Truman the train would go no further till his bill with the railroad company was paid. It was grossly in default.

Truman dug into his pockets and went around asking others to do so also. Some wrote big checks. The bill was paid and Truman was able to continue.

An insult! As Rodney Dangerfield was wont to say…..Truman was getting no respect.

The nation went to bed election night believing Dewey had won. It took longer in those days to count ballots.

The Chicago Tribune had a late night edition on the streets. Its headline…..Dewey Defeats Truman.

H. V. Kaltenborn was a famous American radio commentator. He went on the air advising that Dewey had defeated Truman.

Both media types wrong. When the nation woke the next morning, Truman had won by more than 2 million votes.

That same morning at a press conference, Truman was asked what he was going to do next. His response…..I’m going to Key West on vacation!

I frequently complain about the tourist operation of bicycles and scooters on Key West streets. A danger to the operators and to others. Car drivers and pedestrians.

Yesterday, another accident involving a tourist driving his scooter in an improper manner.

A 41 year old Louisiana visitor was operating a scooter at the intersection of White and Union. He was passing cars on the right. Went into the intersection and struck a broadside a car making a left turn. The tourist died.

He would not have had he stayed in line with the vehicles to the front of him. Scooter and bicycle operators are required to follow the same laws. One being no passing on the right.

Enjoy your day!

AMERICA’S HORNIEST PRESIDENT

America’s horniest President? Not John Kennedy. Not Bill Clinton.

Warren G. Harding. Considered also our worst President. Referred to as “useless.” His administration blanketed in corruption.

Harding was a lover.

One of his great loves involved Nan Britton.

They met when she was 14 and he 45. The relationship got going in a New York City hotel room when Nan was 18 and the President 49. Everything short of actual consummation. Nan wanted to preserve her virginity.

Two years later when Nan was 20 and the President 51, Nan relented and gave Harding a woman’s most prized possession.

The relationship continued into the White House. Nan had the run of the place. The two were careful as to their sexual escapades. they enjoyed sex in a small closet in the ante-room to the Oval Office. The closet five foot square.

Nan gave birth to a baby girl. He supported her and the child with monthly payments. The Republican National Party did likewise.

Harding and Trump have much in common. In addition to sexcapades, opposition to immigration. Harding enacted racist immigration laws.

Harding referred to Nan as his “sweetheart incompatible.”

He referred to his penis as “Jerry.”

Another of his loves was Carrie Fulton Phillips. Considered Harding’s lifetime mistress.

In 2014, the Library of Congress released Harding’s love letters to Carrie.

In one, he write: “I love your poise / Of perfect thighs / When they hold me in paradise…..”

In another: “Jerry came and will not go, says he loves you….. / He is so utterly devoted that he only exists to give you all.”

Why this story today? Harding was born on this date in 1865.

The Chart Room first last night. John bartending.

Chris and Don there! My Syracuse area friends. Love them both!

they are to be married in March. At the Hyatt. they were to be married on the dock. No dock. Irma. Hyatt assured them there would be one in place by March.

Chris is putting the wedding together. A monumental job. In addition to her work as a top executive with a major company.

They relieved me as to what I am to wear to the wedding. I mentioned I had to purchase a sport jacket, slacks and shoes for the event. I only have shorts, shirts and sandals. Don said, “Absolutely not.” The wedding an informal one attire wise. He is wearing shorts and a sport shirt.

A gent and his wife were seated on the other side of me. He a Boston College grad. An attorney. We talked Boston College sports. Especially, football. Doug Flutie, of course.

Then to Hot Tin Roof alone for dinner. Sat at the bar.

They had stone crabs! My meal! Eight dollars per stone crab. small ones. I had six. Equated to one pound. Absolutely delicious!

As good as the small ones at Pier One. More expensive however. Pier One $26 a pound compared to the $48 a pound I paid at Hot Tin Roof.

Turned out to be a good food and good time evening.

A lady two seats over at the bar asked if I were Louis. I was. we had met 5 1/2 years ago at the Chart Room. She recalled i had mentioned her in the blog the next day.

Lesley her name.

Lesley left Key West at some point thereafter. To Nashville. In the process of returning. actually arrived the day before after fleeing Irma for a few days. she has a position as bartender at the new Duval Central soon to open. The former Gecko’s. She already is settled in. Apartment, etc.

Enjoyed her company. Will stop into Duval Central when it opens to visit her.

Duval Central cannot miss. It is between Sloppy Joe’s and Irish Kevin’s. The word is Gecko closed down because the landlord doubled the rent. It happens in Key West.

This morning’s KONK Life E-Blast carried a slew of photos by Bill Klipp of the Fantasy Fest Parade. Great pics!

There has been no public announcement as to the crowd for the parade. Normally, 80,000. Eighty thousand translates into very crowded sidewalks. Hard to move.

the photos showed much fewer spectators. A marathon could be run on the siewalks.

Guess that is why there has been no announcement as to number of watchers.

I was totally into baseball in my early years. Dies not tuen me on in my old age. as eveidenced by the fact that I watched not one inning of the World Series.

Noted this morning that the Houston /astros won the series in seven games. Over th Los Angeles Dodgers. Congratulations to the Astros

Nevember is National Novel Writing Month. My publisher advised it woud be out by the end of the week. tomorrow is friday. hope it on the stands!

Whatever, Irma and Me will be born during National Novel Writing Month. Unintentionally.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

JOHN WAYNE HE AIN’T

 

John Kelly is no John Wayne. I refer to the former Marine general who presently serves as Trump’s Chief of Staff.

Kelly looks good. Especially in uniform. Tough, honest appearing. Pure virtue.

He is not. He personifies the adage…..You can’t tell a book by its cover.

Kelly has difficulty telling the truth. He does not understand American history. Sound familiar? Two Trump failures.

Most recently, Kelly said the Civil War could have been averted by compromise and Lee was a great general.

Yes, the Civil War could have been averted. All Lincoln and the Union had to do was enshrine slavery forever in the United States. As to Lee being a great general, Kelly is creating history. He is forwarding a view of Lee with which most historians do not agree.

Time for a cholesterol lunch yesterday. A cheeseburger at Five Guys.

Then to Publix. Out of food again.

Grocery shopping continues to be tiring. Pushing the cart around the store, loading the car, bringing the groceries in, keeping the groceries. Knocks me on my ass! Not kidding!

Did my podcast show last night. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Part of the program involved three separate stories involving children. Anger you and touch your heart at the same time.

It seems it is getting easier to prepare and do the show. I have been thinking about it. Why easier? The answer simple. Trump.

Seven topics last night. Trump directly or peripherally involved in five.

I continue to live and learn. Homeless children a major problem at the moment. I mentioned yesterday there are an additional 320 homeless children in Monroe County because of Irma.

Discovered today there is a Florida Keys Children’s Shelter in Tavernier. Free housing and delicious meals for kids 10-17.

Only 19 beds. Each filled since Irma. Parents whose homes are gone drop the children off at night and pick them up in the morning. Foster children cared for, also.

Obviously not enough beds. However, better than nothing. Every little bit helps.

The Irma homeless problem manifests itself in another fashion.Hotels provides free rooms to families. FEMA pays the tab. $201 per night in Key West. $93 a night outside Key West.

Some hotels did not close their doors to the Irma homeless because of Fantasy Fest. Those that did are trying to reopen them.

FEMA has extended its program to pay for hotel living through December 2. Many hotels though willing to take people in cite the Power Boat races and other events where hotel accommodations are in demand. Business is business.

The hotels are trying to be cooperative, work things out.

The numbers interesting. Immediately following Irma there were 2,700 households in need of rooms. The number has fallen. It is now 600. Still a healthy number.

On this date in 1512, the Sistine Chapel was opened to the public. Michelangelo had completed God and Adam’s arms stretching towards each other. The Creation of Adam.

A masterpiece for the ages.

Thirty five years ago, I did a one month Italy vacation with the wife, children and my parents. My Dad never was easily impressed. As we were standing with  heads tilted up to view Michelangelo’s work, my father asked…..What’s the big deal?

The Manhattan terrorist attack yesterday proves we are never going to be really safe. Could take another 50-100 years to resolve the terrorist problem.

Eight died and 11 were injured.

New York City vigilant. The last New York terrorist attack was 9/11/2001.  Sixteen years ago.

Some numbers recently released re police shootings of civilians. Thus far this year, 782 in the United States. Contrast that with similar shootings in England and Wales combined. In the 27 years from 1990-2016, 62.

My publisher has assured me Irma and Me will be available for purchase by the end of the week. I hope!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

TRICK OR TREAT

Happy Halloween!

One admonishment. Be careful driving tonight. The streets will be full with children of all ages.

Trick or Treat the demand.

When I was young, it was Guess or Give. I do not recall Trick or Treat till sometime in high school. Decided to give the two names a quick Google.

The phrase Trick or Treat appeared for the first time in a 1927 Canadian book. Picked up in U.S. along the way. World War II derailed the use of the term. The shortage of sugar the reason. It returned in the early 1950’s.

I was out knocking on doors beginning 1940. I only knew Guess or Give till about 1950.

Googled Guess or Give. Information sparse. Very. Could not find it utilized at Halloween time as part of the knocking on the door scenario.

Spent a good part of yesterday working on tonight’s podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.

An abundance of interesting topics. Like Paul Manafort, Trump deportations extreme, 320 homeless children in the Florida Keys as a result of Irma, a Mississippi judge who refused to return a black woman’s baby for 14 months till she paid court costs.

Also, Trump and opioids, Puerto Rico and the Whiteface Energy contract, Saudi Arabia grants full citizen privileges to Sophia Robot, a Terri update, a nipple tattoo following mastectomy, and more.

Nine my time. A quick eye opening half hour. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Lunched at Cuban Coffee Queen. Cuban cheese toast and coffee. Read the newspapers. Relaxing.

Yesterday, exciting. The first indictment/arrests in the Russian collusion inquiry. Regardless of what I was doing yesterday, I was always near a TV or radio so I could hear what was going on.

A big opening salvo by Mueller. Especially the news re George Papadopoulos’ guilty plea.

I will have more to say re the indictments/arrests at 9 tonight on my blog talk radio show.

The U.S.is not the only nation that has been subjected to major cyber attacks by Russia. Germany, France and the Netherlands some of the others.

The EU has a draft circulating among its members to define cyber attacks as “acts of war.” Weapons limited to conventional ones.

One of the purposes of cyber attacks is to destroy what is commonly described as the establishment. Its aim is to bring down post World War II accomplishments in political, economic and military areas. Russia behind the rebellion against established order.

Steve Bannon comes into play. A leader in the Trump victory. For a time Chief Strategist to Trump. Now all over the U.S. politicking against Senators scheduled to run next year. Bannon openly has stated and continsue to state his goal to bring down the establishment. Destroy it!

The man is mad.

Probably the tastiest fish in the Florida Keys is hogfish. So good, it has been over fished.

Commercial hogfish harvesting was closed down August 24. It will remain closed till January 1.

Recreational, from November 1 to May 1.

It is not just hogfish that is depleting in numbers. Most other denizens of the deep as well. For example, many are unaware that certain of our Keys’ fish are shipped as far as Japan on a daily basis.

With the world population burgeoning, fish someday will be the primary source of food. We must control what we take out of waters today so our grandchildren will be able to eat tomorrow.

Another example of depletion involves Atlantic salmon.

Atlantic salmon return yearly to the Magaguadavic River in New Brunswick, Canada. To spawn.

Not this year. Zip. Nothing.

Why, no one knows. Could be climate change. Whatever, the salmon have disappeared in the River. The Magaguadavic River not the only place. Other rivers in recent years, also. Suddenly and unexplainably.

Heard from the publisher. Irma and Me should be out by the end of the week.

Enjoy your day!