AQUA IDOL…..LYNDA FRECHETTE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy your day!

VALENTINE’S DAY…..YESTERDAY AND TODAY

Happy Valentine’s Day!

A day of love and affection.

Not in its beginnings.

There are several beginnings. The one most accepted has dark origins. Typical of ancient Rome. Fun and games were enjoyed.

Valentine’s Day had a predecessor. The Feast of Lupercalia. An annual event. February 13-15. In modern vernacular, men hit on women. By actually hitting them.

The men first sacrificed goats and dogs. The men bare assed. Young women were lined up bare assed. The men hit the women with the hides of the goats and dogs slain.

The young women willing participants.

The men and young women drunk during these activities.

The purpose of the beatings were to make the young women fertile.

Following the beatings, the names of the ladies were thrown in a jar. The men picked. The woman selected was then coupled with the man for the rest of the festival. Sometimes longer if the match worked out.

Several centuries later in the third century A.D, two religious men named Valentine lived. One in Rome, the other somewhere else in Italy. Emperor Claudius had them both executed. Each on February 14, but in different years.

The two Valentines were eventually canonized. Resulting in two St. Valentines.

The image of the earlier pagan Lupercalia was cleaned up by naming February 14 St. Valentine’s Day.

Note that Christmas had a similar beginning. A pagan festival involving sex, gluttony and drunkenness. Saturnalia. A 5-7 day event in December. “Throw off the toga” the cry of the event.

The Catholic Church wanted the pagans to join the Church. They offered a deal. Join us and you can continue to celebrate your pagan ways. A marriage occurred.

Eventually, Christmas became Christmas as we know it.

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

Topics include Yale and its Calhoun College, Trump’s enhancing public safety executive order, the immigrants of today the Jews of yesterday, Trump and Miller telling lies when they claim people came from Massachusetts to New Hampshire to vote, Trump’s war on drugs reversing present thought, Greeks want to stop teaching Greek history, a federal pot law intended to negate State laws permitting marijuana use, Orville dam, and more.

Stopped at Key West Bite to watch Syracuse/Louisville last night.

Bite a sports bar. I was the only one watching a game. Bite may not make it.

Syracuse lost in overtime to #7 Louisville 76-72. A good game. Syracuse down 14 in the first half. Came back and played basket for basket thereafter. Game could have gone either way.

The Michael Flynn in the news is the same Michael Flynn who tweeted stories that Hillary Clinton was involved in pedophilia. That Hillary was part of an operation compelling children to have Satanic sex in a Washington pizza shop.

Flynn may have been a great general. He was a sick man otherwise. The country is better off without him.

The Go Live video I am doing is 12 days old. The viewer numbers has risen significantly. I am pleased so many like and are following it.

Those of you who do enjoy it on Facebook, please press SHARE so more might be exposed to my ramblings.

Enjoy your day!

 

LT. ROBERT MAZZA

The closest friend in my adult life has died. Bob Mazza. A 32 year veteran of the Utica Police Department.

My sorrow runs deep.

Bob passed on at 82. He was one year older than me.

He was already a police officer several years when I returned to Utica to practice law. Somehow we met. He thought I lacked street smarts, needed help. He glued himself to me.

When not working, Bob was with me all the time. Always there for me. I was there all the time for him. We had bonded.

We traveled together. All over. He accompanied me whenever I traveled. Syracuse, Albany, Rochester, Buffalo, Saratoga, New York City, San Diego, Las Vegas, Miami, etc. We even did a week in Martinique.

He was there for my family, also. Always dependable.

Oh, the stories I could tell. Both amusing and serious. Not mentionable here, however.

Age and distance separated us. We last were together 10 years ago when he visited me for two weeks in Key West. I had moved to Key West. Bob, to Syracuse. We telephone chatted for a while. Less and less frequently. Now in reflection not for several years. Sad.

Bob appeared to be a tough guy. I use the words appeared to be. He was really a softy. He spent most of his police years as head of the Homicide and Burglary Squads. The bad guys feared him. Respected him. It was all in the image he portrayed.

When my time comes, I hope Bob is waiting for me at the Pearly Gates. There is no one I would rather spend Eternity with.

Another sad report.

Going live with Key West Lou will not debut today. While playing around with the site yesterday in preparation for today, I discovered two problems. Beyond my abilities to correct. Sloan not available till wednesday. So it looks like thursday or friday for the first show.

Sorry.

A disenchanted Key West Lou group, who nevertheless continue to follow me, will comment I never meet self-imposed deadlines, etc. The same people who criticize my positions, thoughts, etc.

I am a perfectionist. Always have been. Anal to a fault. Such is what made me a success as a lawyer. I cannot go public with the new snow unless and until I am satisfied.

Hang in there!

A weather forecaster I am not. However, I have learned the few times the wind has come from the south in Key West, a storm followed. Generally, a big one. Yesterday the wind was from the south. About 20 mph. Enough for the palm trees to bend. The sun shining.

I said a storm is coming. Checked the weather reports on the internet. Nothing. A beautiful sunny day. Twenty percent chance of rain. Which means no rain.

I wrote about the south wind in yesterday’s blog.

About 4 yesterday afternoon, TV was interrupted to advise a major storm moving up from the south. Tornadoes possible. The storm was going to run over the Florida Keys and Miami. Would hit around 1 in  the morning.

It hit at 11 last night. Howling winds and heavy rain. Winds still howling, though less. No tornadoes in Florida. However, tornadoes hit Georgia bad. Seventeen dead. Whole areas destroyed. Mississippi had problems also.

The south wind. Recognize it. Respect it.

I was sad last night. Bobby dead. Decided to have a few drinks and quietly recollect our times together.

First stop was the Chart Room. Chatted with Victor. Mentioned the south wind. He had read about it earlier in yesterday’s blog. He decided to telephone a neighbor while we were talking to go over to his house and close the outside blinds.

Then Sloppy Joe’s. Not a usual venue for me.

A few more drinks. Watched the country music entertainers.

Sloppy’s menu has changed. My fries covered in chopped beef, mozzarella and sauce no longer on the menu. I enjoyed an order of wings instead.

I continue to be reluctant to criticize Trump. Give him a chance. He is the only President we have.

However, I must render two admonitions.

The first what one of the female speakers said during the Women’s March: It is not….I the president, it is…..We the people.

The other from me…..The campaign is over. It is time to govern.

Enjoy your day!

DECEMBER 7, 1941…..A DATE THAT WILL LIVE IN INFAMY

December 7, 1941. The Japanese perpetrate a sneak attack on Pearl Harbor.  The beginning of World War II for the United States.

Two thousand four hundred were killed at Pearl harbor. The Nation was incensed. President Roosevelt immediately assumed the reins of a war time leader. He rekindled pride in country. Perhaps like never before.

Roosevelt was an orator. “A date which will live in infamy” his. He and Churchill equally gifted orators. Two great leaders for a dark time in the history of both countries. Immediately following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Churchill communicated with Roosevelt. He said, “We are all in the same boat now.”

I was 6-10 years old during World War II. Though young, the war had an impact on me.

I still distinctly remember the Utica Railroad Station. Soldiers and sailors coming and going. Wives and family hugging and crying. The crying especially moved me.

I lived in a six apartment building. All occupied by Petrone family members. My grandfather Louis the landlord. The older members would huddle around the radio each evening listening for war news reports. Trying to figure out where family members might be fighting.

Sunday mornings involved parades. Patriotic parades. From the Boy Scouts to World War I veterans. Bands and other groups. American flags waving.

Tiny blue and gold starred flags in windows. Blue meant a family member in the service. Gold, the family had lost a family member.

Air raid drills. Frequent. Everyone required to be at home or in a building. Shades drawn. No light from the inside permitted to show outside. Wardens walking the streets yelling at anyone violating the rules.

It did not take long for the U.S. to kick the Japanese in the ass big time. Six months after Pearl Harbor, the Japanese fleet was defeated in  a decisive battle by our Naval Forces at Midway.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is slated to meet with President Obama later this month at Pearl Harbor. The first high echelon Japanese official to do so since World War II.

We have been advised in advance that he will not apologize for the Pearl Harbor attack or war. He is attending solely to show respect for the World War II dead from both sides.

He should apologize. The attack was a sneak one. The Japanese treated U.S. captives terribly. As with ISIS, head chopping common.

Following the war, Japan was devastated. Were it not for the manner the U.S. treated them and the help given to get them on their feet, I doubt Japan would be the economic giant it is today.

Since the war, the Japanese have sworn off war. Military war. The U.S. is required by treaty to defend Japan if it is attacked.

Japan decided to wage conflict since World War II in the economic field. Business is war. Japan has done well in that arena.

My blog talk radio show last night. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Two main topics. Standing Rock and Pearl Harbor. Enjoyed discussing them. Hope those listening enjoyed also.

Enjoy your day!

PARTY TIME!

The Chart Room and Berlin’s walked hand in hand last night.

The Chart Room was packed. Standing was tight. The group in their 60-70s. From the Fort Lauderdale area. Obviously affluent. Celebrating the birthday of one of the group.

The guest of honor was outfitted in a white tuxedo jacket, white shirt, black tie, black shorts and sandals.

I left before the partiers did. Headed for Berlin’s. Dinner at the bar. Emilie bartending. Introduced me to her fellow bartender Sean.

Before you knew it, the Chart Room party group showed up. They had to wait for their table. Ordered drinks. The same for all of them. Key Lime Martinis. Twenty six of them.

Ellie and Shawn lined the 26 martini glasses on the bar. Then proceeded to make the drink and fill the glasses. Done very efficiently. In record time. Not a drop missed.

When things quieted down, Emilie and I chatted a bit. She vacationed in Iceland for two weeks. Loved it! I would like to try it some day.

Sean is an Alabama graduate. A new friend for Jean Thornton.

Everywhere I go lately, I hear people ordering Tito’s vodka. New to me. A relatively new drink. John poured me a very short shot. Tasted good. Did not taste like vodka. Worry not, I shall not be deserting Beefeaters.

I bought the new tire yesterday and had it put on the car. A simple task. Should not take long. Familiar however with how Sears can take forever, people waiting in line, etc, I called and asked if I could make an appointment. Yes. At 8 or 1. I picked 1. Promptly at 1? No, means you are the next car in line. Ok. Better than the other way.

I got there a half hour early. 12:30. Was told it would take 1-1 1/2 hours, in spite of the appointment. Told the counter man I would be in the sitting room reading the newspapers. Ok, I’ll call you.

He forgot me. Two hours later, I went to the counter and asked about my car. Oh, he said. It’s finished. It has been sitting outside quite a while.

You can’t win!

I listened to a Hillary talk mid afternoon. I am getting depressed. She failed to impress me again.

She was speaking quietly and slowly. I have to assume to contrast Trump. Does not come over well.

Her hair was a mess. A real mess. I would assume she has a hair person traveling with her.

I hate to say this, she looked like she was sick.

I saw her in the give and take with reporters an hour later. Hair still a mess. However, it was Hilary talking. Perky! Brightly!

I was home early. Wanted to watch the Syracuse/Louisville game. Caught the second half. A knife in my chest! Syracuse lost 62-28. Defense and offense sucked! Obviously!

This Zika thing is out of control. From Key Haven to Washington to the rest of the world. Out of control as to what to do, allocate money, etc. Not out of control as to number infected in the U.S.. Not yet. Maybe never.

The Oxitec war with Key Haven is turning into Goliath/David situation.

Oxitec is owned by the British company Intrexon. It was recently announced Intrexon had hired a Tallahassee public relations firm to assist Oxitec with the Key Haven and full key votes. The PR firm appears to have raised its ugly head. Jumped into the fray.

There is a lengthy Letter to the Editor in this morning’s KONK E-Blast. Tears apart every argument made by Key Haven residents. Skillfully slices away. Representations not all correct. Some  twisting of the facts. False reasons claimed as to why Key Haven residents are opposed to the testing.

The letter is purportedly by Big Pine’s Walter Lagraves. I question whether he actually wrote the letter. Could it have been the PR people? I do not know Lagraves. If he wrote the letter, I apologize for suspecting he did not. The letter is too long, too knowledgeable and too scientific. A professional opposition paper.

If Lagraves is serious, I suggest he go a step further. He should recommend the testing be done in Big Pine rather than Key Haven.

It’s called put your money where your mouth is!

Enjoy your day!

 

AGGRAVATION FREE TRIP TO CUBA

Though relations are better with Cuba, a U.S. trip to Cuba still involves some aggravation.

Not for Fleming, however. He even traveled free.

Fleming is a turtle. He was found injured last year and taken to the Marathon Turtle Hospital. Fleming was returned to good health.

On July 22, he was returned to the ocean at Sombrero Beach. Got a big send off.

The hospital attached a satellite tag to Fleming. They follow his travels. He is now in Cuba.

You can follow Fleming’s meanderings. www.tourdeturtles.org.

Yesterday was wednesday. Wednesday is screw off time for me. I spend saturday through tuesday researching and writing. Then three days off beginning with wednesday. Look forward to wednesdays! Love the day!

My yesterday began with the anti-gravity treadmill at Body Owners. Me, Jenny and the machine. I did not kill myself. Ran at a moderate speed. Still exhausted afterwards.

I have decided to take a week off. I am going to walk at Home Depot those days to see if it makes any difference.

After the treadmill, I hurried to Verizon Wireless. The good one. The one in the Winn Dixie Shopping Center.

Nana took care of me again. She is teaching me how to use my new cell phone. I am a dunce! Having difficulty learning. Retaining all the steps involved. These new phones are computers. Love it! Have to learn how to use them, however.

A generational thing. My era born and I are not mechanically inclined.

Lunch was at the Cuban Coffee Queen. Splurged. Instead of a cheese toast, I had a BLT. On pressed Cuban bread. Delicious!

Halley working up front. Ruby in the kitchen.

Ruby is an experienced cook. Seven years at Outback. She has also worked at several restaurants around town.

Spent the afternoon reading. An interesting World War II story. Involved Normandy on D-Day. A group of engineers were sent in before the landing to destroy whatever was on the beach and in the water that would affect a safe landing.

The landing site Utah beach.

The men were told before hand the mission was dangerous and few would survive. The men worked in groups of three. Only one in each group was alive at the end of the morning.

Last night began with the Back Door at Aqua. Mark Watson back. He just returned from a week on Fire Island.

Then to Roostica for dinner. Gnocchi.

The Florida Keys Community College, aka FKCC, was recently rated by SmartAsset.com.

There are 565 community colleges in the U.S. FKCC was rated #18. Very commendable!

A statement in the commendation hit home. Today’s young are looking for a good inexpensive education that will provide a good return on their investment. Not always the case today with those receiving four year degrees.

The quote: Community colleges “…..provide their students with an inexpensive, world class education and a good return on investment.”

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

TRUMP TIME

Donald Trump is in the forefront these days. More than previously. Justifiably so. The man is mad. America is viewing his instability. More and more each day. He is self destructing before our eyes.

Better now than later. If elected, I worry about him and the nuclear button. So should you.

I spoke of Trump on my blog talk radio show last night. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Half the show. Example after example of his instability.

Spent yesterday afternoon preparing for the podcast.

The Civil War has intrigued me since my college days. Today, I read everything I can get my hands on re the War.

The Key West Library is sponsoring a Civil War event. Titled Civil War Living History. In the Library’s Palm Garden. Saturday, August 13.

The editorial in yesterday’s Key West Citizen concerned Social Security. It was a republication of an editorial carried in the South Florida Sun Sentinel titled Put Priority On Solvency For Social Security.

A bad editorial. Avoided discussing the real reason why Social Security has money problems. The reason being the government borrows surplus monies in the Social Security Fund and never pays back. The government owes Social Security $1.8 trillion. Social Security is the biggest creditor of the United States. Ahead even of China.

The issue of pay back is always avoided in articles. If the government started paying back over a long period, the monies would be more than sufficient to keep Social Security payments at a level where cuts would not be required. Not even discussed.

The American people continue to get screwed by a government that borrow’s their money with no intent to ever pay back.

The William Hackley saga continues. Baby doing much better. Visited Mrs. Hews four times this date in 1855 for breast feeding.

A quick Venezuela update.

Two weeks ago, Venezuelans were eating their pets. This past weekend, they were invading zoos and stealing the zoo’s inhabitants. For consumption purposes obviously.

Curacao is one of the largest cities in Venezuela. Has a large zoo. Some people snuck into the zoo in the middle of the night. They were after a horse.

When the zoo keepers arrived in the morning, all that remained of the horse was the head and ribs.

A Venezuelan revolution is long overdue. Recall three years ago they ran out of toilet paper. The country is still out of toilet paper.

My column in this week’s KONK Life is German Persecution of Homosexuals. Sick, sad. Hits the stands today.

Key West has many fun events. One of the local favorites is the Battle of the Bars. Bartenders and servers engage in a competition down Duval Street. The winner gets bragging rights for a year.

The Battle of the Bars this sunday at one.

Enjoy your day!

 

HEMINGWAY WINS HEMINGWAY LOOK A-LIKE CONTEST

Yes, Hemingway did win the Hemingway Look A-Like Contest. David Hemingway from Macon, North Carolina. Age 65. No relation to the original Hemingway.

One hundred forty Look A-Like contestants. Biggest participation yet!

Celebrity chef Paula Deen in the crowd. This was her husband’s seventh try at winning.

Never left the house yesterday. I was glued to the TV watching Democratic Convention news. Early morning and into the evening.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz should not even appear on the podium this evening. I understand she will now speak. I hope not. She will become an anchor around Hillary’s neck.

In between politics, I wrote this week’s KONK Life column. Bagels. A history of bagels. The article takes the reader from King Jadwiga to Krakow to 100,000 Ottoman Turks to King John III Sobieski to the Bagel Bakers Local #338 to the Lender family to Cleveland bagels. A trip covering several hundred years.

Mini lobster season this week! Wednesday and thursday. Thousands will come to Key West to dive for lobsters.

I remember the first time I dove for lobsters. About 20 years ago. I went down. Saw two sets of tentacles coming out from under a rock shelf. I rushed back up and yelled to my experienced friends on the boat that I had found two of the biggest lobsters ever. I could hear their laughs as I dove back to capture my prizes.

Brought them up. They looked awfully small. Measured them. Too small. Had to throw them back.

It was then I learned the water magnifies everything.

My friends laughed at me. I took it in stride. The best was yet to come.

At some point, the boat was driven about a 100 feet off some small key and the anchor dropped. No other boats or people than us. I jumped in the water with several others. The water was waist high. Others on the boat were cooking the lobsters on a small cook out grill.

Cooked lobster tails dripping in butter were handed over the side to those of us in the water. A beer in one hand and the lobster in the other, I feasted. When done, I dunked my entire body underwater to wash off the sweat and also the butter which had dripped on my torso.

The story tells the reason why thousands will be out during the mini lobster season. Everyone enjoys it as I did.

The hospital/community war ongoing. I sense progress. The Citizens Committee is doing a terrific job. I sense the hospital owners are concerned by some steps already taken to remedy problems.

This is not a war for politicians to get involved in. They screw things up and delay resolution.

Ward is a candidate for State Attorney. He wants present State Attorney Vogel to conduct a grand jury investigation, issue subpoenas, etc.

I know neither candidate. However, Ward’s position is reason enough not to vote for him. A prosecutor has to know when to exercise authority. Politics and law should not be mixed for political expediency.

Paul Krugman is a New York Times columnist. A far to the left liberal. He recently wrote  re Trump and Putin: “If elected, would Trump be Vladimir Putin’s man in the White House?”

I am off to Body Owners shortly to do the anti-gravity treadmill. The afternoon will be consumed with business matters. Until 4 when I will be at Rich and Cindy Boettger’s home for cocktails. Then to Aqua for the Dueling Bartenders.

Enjoy your day!