FROM MOSES BASKETS TO HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES

Not only is Key West One Human Family, it is One Happy Family. Family being the operative word.

This story involves Blue Heaven, its owner, and its employees over the years.

Richard Hatch owns Blue Heaven. An absolute Key West success! Tourists wait in line to dine.

Hatch understood the personal needs of his staff. He permitted hosts, waitresses, etc. to bring their babies to work. Generally in baskets. Moses baskets.

A number of the babies are now full grown. A good number graduated from the Key West High School several days ago. The mothers of many have continued to work at Blue Heaven over the years. Some of the recent graduates also during their high school days.

The graduation called for a Blue Heaven Party. What else!

The party was held at Hatch’s home. The home lovely. A huge pool in the back.

A crowd estimated at 100.

Organizing the party were Donna’s daughter Stacey and Satia. Both still working at Blue Heaven after all these years. Both had children graduating.

A good time had by all! All because of a Richard Hatch who had the foresight to understand young mothers some 20 years ago needed to take their kids to work. He worked with them and they and their children have happily worked with and for him.

A sad occurrence in 2015. A visitor at the Tiki Bar at the Galleon decided to dive in the ocean. The dock was roped off. He went over the rope. Might have been drinking.

An unfortunate accident occurred. He hit head first. Water shallow. An instantaneous quadriplegic.

He sued. The basis of the suit was that the Bar and Galleon had no signs posted warning of shallow water and no signs posted prohibiting diving.

The case was settled this past week for $10.75 million.

I enjoyed a perfect evening last night. Watched the 1946 Cole Porter movie starring Cary Grant. and Alexis Smith. Night and Day. A tear jerker.

The music a killer! Touching! Romantic! Glad I opted to remain home and watch the movie.

Songs like Night and Day, Begin the Beguine, I Get a Kick Out of You, My Heart Belongs to Daddy, You’re the Top, You’d Be So Easy to Love, In the Still of the Night, etc.

Wow!

Trump has stirred the emotions of Middle East countries. He emboldened Saudi Arabia by his visit. Four days ago, the Saudis blockaded Qatar and threaten to attack Qatar. Turkey has since entered into a military pact with Qatar. Iran has offered food and ports to Qatar.

Great job, Donald! Keep it up and our country will end up looking like Afghanistan and Iraq.

Speaking of the President, he spoke to a group of Evangelicals yesterday. His strongest group of supporters. His message: “We’re under siege.”

Amazon is smart business.

Amazon has recognized the middle class no longer exists. It wants customers from both ends of the economic spectrum, however. Those at the bottom and those at the top.

Amazon has had Price Membership for several years. For $99 a year, it provides free 2 day shipping. Amounts to $10.99 a month.

They recognize the other market and are going after it. Amazon announced it will provide 2 day shipping service to those in the lowest economic scale. $5.99 per month. A state issued debit card for government benefits required to participate.

Cultural and religious differences frequently clash these days.

The Saudi Arabia (Them again!) soccer team is participating in the World Cup in Australia. A moment of silence was called for in memory of the recent victims of the London Bridge attack.

The Saudi Arabia team refused to observe the moment.

The Saudi Arabia Soccer Federation later in the day issued an apology.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

REPUBLICAN SELL OUT

I fell this morning. Again. Was not paying attention. Two steps. Forgot. Thought one. Went flying. Nothing broke. Hurt all over. A couple of bruises already. Blood thinner.

I have been an admirer of Paul Ryan for many years. Straight forward. Tells it the way it is. Till yesterday.

I am disappointed. He was on television explaining the House’s bills re repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. He was bullshitting viewers.

Some things not mentioned, others glossed over.

The first that there would be many uncovered that are covered now. Something like 15 million.

Cost of the new law unknown. We’ll get to the figures later. He expects the public to buy a pig in the poke.

No time to wait for the COB report which would set out numbers like uncovered and cost. Why the hurry? Because the COB’s numbers will show the large number of uncovered who are covered now and the high cost in many instances.

The proposed bill a boon to insurance companies.

Political chicanery at its worst. Trust us…..We’ll take care of you. Bullshit. The proposed bill is written for the rich and is a detriment to middle and lower income peoples.

Roger C. Kostmayer is a Key Wester who speaks his mind. Generally, his thoughts correct. Writes many Letters to the Editor.

In one published recently in KONK Life, he reminded readers of Paul Revere’s…..Beware, the British are coming! He transposed the saying to today’s events…..Beware, the Russians are coming! Additional thrust to his letter was that Russia’s cyber activity is a declaration of war. A new type war. We have to prepare to retaliate.

Enjoyed a manicure with Tammy yesterday. She asked if I had seen Jenna recently. Told her Jenna and I were having dinner Saturday night.

Happy Hour at Martin’s. The best happy hour in town! I enjoyed a couple of drinks, 3 small lamb chops and a chunk of warmed brie.

Did happy hour with Diana Millikan. We are exploring doing a book together. Something about Key West.

A Tom Favette joined us. A friend of Diana. A retired cigar maker. From the way he talked, apparently a big time one. An interesting man.

Left. Hurried over to bocce. When Diana finished her conversation with Tom Favette, she intended to go to San Carlos to hear a talk by Fidel Castro’s daughter.

Bocce fun. Team won 2 out of 3. Tough. Won the first two 16-15. Lost the third 16-5.

Seems like most people I know are sick or getting sick. A lot of cancer. One of my bocce lady friends came by to say hello. Always a hug and kiss. She appeared thinner.

She had cancer several years ago. Had a double mastectomy two weeks ago as a precautionary measure. The ladies rebuilt during the surgery.

A strong person. God bless her!

Did two Go Live videos yesterday on Facebook. One I referred to as the Silent Coup. Politics. Interesting. The other the Divided States of America. No question we are divided.

Trump wants to vet immigrants thoroughly. Hope he vets them better than General Flynn who he brought on as National Security Adviser.

Flynn lobbied from August to November last year on behalf of certain Turkish elements. His lobbying a secret. Recall, Flynn also spoke at the Republican Convention.

Flynn recently was identified by the FBI as a foreign agent doing work for a company that could aid the Turkish government. Two days later, Flynn filed with the appropriate agency that he was such a foreign agent. For his foreign agent work from August to November, he was paid $530,000.

Dinner tonight with my lesbian wives, Donna and Terri. Donna cooking. A guaranteed outstanding meal!

Enjoy your day!

DIXONS BACK IN TOWN

My years in Key West have brought me many new friends. Two are Tom and Fran Dixon. From Buffalo. They have business interests which bring them to Key West several times a year.

We have become very close. Fran makes homemade candy. Chocolate her specialty. Each trip she brings me a box. It was no different last night. We had dinner together. Fran gave me the candy. Two kinds. Told me one chocolate was made with something hot. The candy would have a tang.

I could not wait to get home to try the candy. Started while driving home. Good! Especially the peppery chocolate. It was a bit sharp.

The entire evening was fun. We met first at the Chart Room. Spent a couple of hours there with Jean and Sheila. Laughter prevailed.

Then Tom, Fran and I were off to the Hot Tin Roof for dinner. More fun!

Tom had a stroke a month ago. I was not aware till last night. You would never know it. He looked good and was his usual joyful self.

Tom and I are bonded in a special way. Both die hard Syracuse fans!

My friends are getting sick. Tom, who fortunately quickly recovered. Terri who is on her way to recovery. Terri returned to Key West yesterday. Spoke with her on the telephone. She was bubbly and cheerful.

It is saturday again. Comes fast each week. I have to research my KONK column today. Thought about a topic yesterday. Did a little digging. Came up with it! Not sure of the title yet. The topic concerns Hitler and homosexuals.

Hitler disliked homosexuals as well as Jews. His slogan for the Jews was: Exterminate them! For homosexuals: Castrate them!

My Bagels column is rerun in this morning’s KONK E-Blast. With the last eight paragraphs included. Bagels are American today. Not always, however. Bagels did not gain in national popularity till the 1950s.

Two social comments/observations.

It was announced yesterday that several more Flint and Michigan officials had been arrested re the Flint water crisis. The lead in the water story.

Obama immediately arranged for $5 million to help when the lead problem surfaced in January.. He also asked Congress to approve significantly more monies. Congress held hearings. The politicos could be seen on TV condemning what had occurred, enunciating clearly that something had to be done. Swiftly.

That was in January. The people of Flint are still waiting. The federal government sitting on its ass. Congress is on a seven week vacation not yet having approved funding. The people of Flint drinking bottled water and using faucet filters. Not even close to being enough.

2016 sometimes similar to centuries ago. Somtimes, thousands of years ago. Middle East beheadings one example.

Another is what is occurring in Turkey.

The coup failed. Some plotters arrested and executed. Others will follow. Turkey’s President refuses to permit funeral prayers and services for the plotters. A decent burial denied. Not even a casket. Dig a hole and drop the body in.

A stray dog facility is being erected. A place for dogs to run about and enjoy. In one corner, a cemetery is located for the bodies. It is called Traitors’ Cemetery. So marked with a small black metal sign. A place for the dogs to freely run about and do whatever.

The President sick! His actions reflective of something Hitler or Stalin might have done.

Enjoy your day!

 

BABY BETTER

William Hackley reports in his 1855 diary entry of this date that Baby is well. I am thrilled. Wonder how? Yesterday little sustenance. Baby was in trouble. Another question: What is Baby’s name? Hackley keeps referring to the child as Baby.

Lets stay with health for the moment. The war is ongoing between the corporation that owns The Lower Keys Medical Center and Key West citizenry. Nicki Will was CEO of the hospital. She resigned yesterday. I am sure because of the notoriety/conflict. What next?

The third round of the British Open has killed me. My eyes are slits as I type. I got screwed up somehow.

I thought the third round would begin 1;30 this morning. I stayed awake for it. At 1:30, there was a flash it would be 2:00. I continued to remain awake. What I got was an old Barbasol tournament. Not even first class golfers.

Saw another flash on the screen…..4.

I continued to stay awake. Watched old movies on TV.

Four came and so did a rerun of the second round. Not the fresh third one.

I said screw it and went to sleep. Woke at 6.

I sit here writing extremely tired. Guess what is on TV at the moment. The third round of the British Open. It is 10 am. Been running for an hour.

I got the hours wrong. The change in time.

It is going to be a terrific day! I am bushed already.

Yesterday began with the anti-gravity treadmill. Speed still good. Time up by 2 minutes. Two minutes beyond what I used to do. Fantastic! The gravity level remains at 50 percent. Perhaps by the end of this coming week, I will be back to normal re the gravity level.

Lunch as usual at the Cuban Coffee Queen.

Then to Tammy for a manicure.

Tammy is a lovely Asian. Beautiful. Tiny and thin. Generally wears her black hair long and straight. Yesterday, rolled on top of her head in a ball.

Haircut? No, too hot.

I soon understood what she meant by too hot. The air conditioner was on the blink. Second day in a row. They are waiting a new unit to be delivered from Miami.

It was a lousy day to get a manicure. My shirt was soaked a half hour later when Tammy was done.

I thought of women who shower and get dressed for a date. Then stop to get their nails done before meeting the date. They were going to be mad! Another shower would be required before meeting their dates.

I had a good time last night. At the Chart Room. Met up with Frances and Chris Clark. By prearrangement. Frances has had four books published. Her latest titled Frances Watson Clark: Key West. A photographic  history of Key West.

Well done. Buy it. Amazon.com.

Their daughter Katherine was with them. An adult. A professional photographer. Her forte sensitivity. Reflected in her work.

Katherine presently engaged in taking photos of breast cancer victims. Before, during and after surgery. With taste. To show the strength, resourcefulness, etc. of the women involved.

Katherine’s girl friend Melissa was with them. Melissa a photographer, also. She is a sports photographer with the Caroline Panthers. Sounds good.

I forgot Chris. Husbands/fathers always seem to come last. Chris is a retired banker.

The family is from Georgia. Still have a home in Georgia. Also a home in Key West. On Eaton Street.

We plan on having dinner together soon.

A Venezuela update. Two days ago, I reported Venezuelans were out of food. Were eating their pets. Dogs and cats. Sad.

Nicolas Maduro is a poor President. Inept. As I have been saying for three years, the people should revolt. They first ran out of toilet paper. Three years later, still out of toilet paper. Now, food.

Maduro announced yesterday that he was appointing an Army general to be in charge of a new food supply system. Every federal agency is now run by a general.

Last year, Maduro announced a new federal department. Cabinet level. A Director of Happiness, or something like that. Everyone was going to be kumbaya! Did not work. You cannot tell people they are happy if they are not. If they are hungry and cannot wipe their asses.

I question a bit what I have been reading and reporting re the hunger situation. The Wall Street Journal ran a good sized photo yesterday of  Venezuelans crossing a bridge that was the border between Venezuela and Columbia. The border had been opened for 12 hours to permit Venezuelans to cross over into Columbia to buy groceries.

The adults and children looked healthy. Especially the adults. Most, overweight.

Zika. Mosquito bite the cause. Florida Keys concerned. I sometimes think we are the home from whence mosquitoes emanate.

No Zika cases in our area however.

A case in another part of the country was reported yesterday. A first time situation. A woman gave Zika to a male via sex. Supposedly not common.

Enjoy your day!

 

BOCCE SEASON ENDS FOR US

It’s all over. The bocce season ended for us last night. We lost.

We played the #3 team from the monday night league. We destroyed them the first game. They destroyed us in return the second game. The third game was for all the marbles.

We were losing 13-2. We made a comeback. The score was 15-13. They won 16-13.

The best season ever for us. Ended up second in the thursday night league. Drew a bye in the playoffs before losing last night.

An outstanding season!

The finals today. We will not be playing.

Spent the day time yesterday researching this week’s KONK column. Paris has been in the news frequently because of the terrorist attack. I wanted to write something about Paris. I decided on the Eiffel Tower. The column will be written this afternoon.

A double header in effect yesterday re Syracuse.

The football team won the last game of the season. Beat Boston College 20-17.  A poor football season for Syracuse. Glad we won the last one.

Coach Shafer was fired last week. He agreed to coach the last game, however. The players carried him off the field on their shoulders after the game.

Syracuse basketball big this past week. Beat two ranked teams in winning the Atlantis tournament. CBS Sports Top 25 (plus one) ranks teams daily. Yesterday, Syracuse was ranked #13. Great! Unreal at the same time.

I don’t know how Syracuse will end the season. They played terrific basketball in the tournament, however. The team deserves to be ranked.

The Putin/Erdogan fiasco continues. Putin yesterday imposed severe sanctions on Turkey. Putin said he was throwing the gauntlet down. He refused to accept telephone calls from Erdogan.

The defense analyst who said the two were measuring their dicks was correct. Yesterday was Putin’s turn.

Enjoy your sunday!

 

MEASURING DICKS

We live in dangerous times. You do not need me to tell you.

A recent crisis that has the capacity to bring matters to the boiling point is Turkish planes shooting down a Russian jet. Russia’s Putin and Turkey’s Erdogan are issuing inflammatory statements. Each threatening the other.

Turns out Putin and Erdogan do not like each other. There is personal animosity between them for other reasons. These guys will go nose to nose.

Pavel Felgenhauer is a defense analyst. He bluntly described the situation as follows: “Right now they’re measuring dicks, and that’s very dangerous.”

My yesterday began with a doctor visit. I decided to have breakfast out following the visit. Tried Sq. 1 sitting outside. Years since I have done it. I was pleased. Good food. A great place for people watching.

The Key West Aloe store is on Duval just around the corner from Duval Square. I stopped in. Wanted to try their shaving gel. No shaving gel.

I thought how sad the old Key West Aloe store on Front street is gone. The new owners moved the store and everything else several years ago to another spot in Florida. The new Key West store tiny. Well done in brown and white colors, as are the tubes of aloe products. No aroma.

A lovely place. However, nowhere as large and as nice as the one I remember.

Yesterday was Syracuse basketball again. The final game of the Atlantis tournament being played in the Bahamas. Syracuse beat Texas A & M 74-67. An excellent victory.

The other three teams in the tournament were all ranked. Syracuse, not. Syracuse will be when the new rankings come out monday.

Good wins for Syracuse. The two games tested Syracuse. We still lack that one extra tall muscle bound big guy unfortunately.

An interesting season ahead.

The Keys Coral Reef is bleaching. Not good. Could be bad, though not necessarily. Depends on things I am not familiar with. Extreme warm water doing it. Second consecutive year the bleaching has occurred.

The hurricane season ends in a couple of days. November 30 to be exact. Vultures have returned. Large congregations of them.

We do not need the date to tell us the hurricane season has ended. The return of the vultures signifies the end of the hurricane season. Nature telling us.

I continue to be repitious. Truman loved Key West, Key West loves Truman.

On today’s date 1949, Truman, wife Beth and daughter Margaret arrived for a three week vacation.

Two China items of interest.

China has a large growing middle class. They want all the things the middle class of any nation expects. One is good food. Beef to be precise.

China does not have enough beef to satisfy its middle class. No problem. A 14,000 square meter factory is being built at a cost of $313 million. Its purpose, to clone cows. The plant is expected to produce 100,000 embryos a year.

Reports indicate cloned beef ok to eat. Tastes like the real stuff. A question arises. Is this another GMO situation?

China continues to expand militarily. China is establishing its first military base in Africa. In a little country called Djibouti. The base is the first expansion of China’s military power beyond the Asian Pacific.

Bocce playoffs today. A big deal, as I continue to tell you. Exciting. We play at 3. If we win, at 6. If we win again, tomorrow.

Enjoy your day!