John from the Chart Room had a night off. We did dinner together at Hot Tin Roof. Good food and good company! As usual, the Hot Tin Roof was packed.

I asked in yesterday’s blog…..Where was the U.S.S. Vinson? It was supposed to be in North Korean waters. Nothing had been mentioned as to its location for almost two weeks.

My inquiry was premature by several hours. Yesterday afternoon it was announced the Vinson had arrived in Korean waters and was engaged in war games with South Korea. TV this morning is showing videos of the Vinson and smaller vessels in Korean waters.

Today, there is a Coast Guard cutter named the U.S.S. Mohawk. Stationed here in Key West. Yesterday, yesterday being 1859-1864, there was a screw steamship in the Navy named the U.S.S. Mohawk.

I write about the Mohawk of old because yesterday was significant in its history. An event which ultimately became even more significant in Key West history.

In 1860, the Mohawk was operating against pirates and slavers off the east coast and in the Caribbean. On April 28, 1860, the Mohawk captured the slave ship Wildfire. The Wildfire carried 530 slaves from Africa. The crew and slaves were delivered to Key West.

The crew was imprisoned. The slaves placed in a compound under the protection of the Mohawk’s Marines.

Subsequently, vessels of the United States captured two more slave ships. The slaves on each were delivered to Key West and placed in the same compound as those from the Wildfire. Total number of slaves exceeded 1,200.

What to do with the slaves? Obviously return them to Africa. Where in Africa, however? Ultimately decided to relocate all of them to Liberia, a country in Africa. President James Monroe had as a practical matter returned previous slaves to Liberia. Liberia was a welcoming place for returned Africans. They created a new society.

Not all the slaves confined in Key West were returned. Some had died. Two hundred ninety five. They were buried on Higgs Beach. Many years later in recent times, their graves were discovered. A small monument sits on Higgs Beach recognizing the final resting place of those who did not live to return to Africa.

The Mohawk continued functioning till 1864 during the Civil War in defense of the United States. The Mohawk is the reason Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortuga’s and Fort Zachary Taylor in Key West remained in Union hands.

Beat up from combat, its boilers to badly damaged, its general condition unfit for further fights, the Mohawk was sold in 1864.

It was renamed the Alliance and remained in commercial service till 1869 when it was wrecked at Hatteras Inlet, North Carolina.

Martha Washington and Bess Truman may be described as birds of a feather. Neither was happy her husband became President and each was less than supportive of her husband during his days as President.

Bess Truman’s story is more familiar to us. Perhaps because of its closeness in time.

Note the many trips by President Truman to Key West. Eleven. Consumed 175 days. Bess was with him only a few times. While Truman was living and working in Washington, Bess was home in Independence. She preferred the company of her Independence lady friends.

Martha’s questionable helping hand less known.

Washington was sworn in for his first term as President in New York City on this date in 1789. Martha was not with him. She was back in Mount Vernon.

Washington was tired/beat up prior to making the trip from Mount Vernon to Washington. He was trying to close down the business end of Mount Vernon. There were bills to pay. He had a difficult time arranging for a loan to cover them.

Martha was not happy he had agreed to become President. She was tired of public life. Wanted to live the rest of her days in Mount Vernon as a domestic wife. She abhorred politics. She refused to join her husband in New York City for the inauguration.

A comment or two on Washington’s inauguration.

His inaugural speech was important to him. He had several persons helping him. One by one in succession. Over a period of several months. He was displeased with every rendition. He finally called in James Madison for help. Madison spent a week at Mount Vernon helping Washington knock out the final draft.

There was a reception following Washington’s swearing in. It is recorded that Washington mentioned to some in attendance that democracy was fragile. He hoped what they had created would survive.

It did. Still fragile, however. You never know what could happen. Especially in the sensitive times we live in.

Enjoy your Sunday!


Strange as it may sound, Key West is a very peaceful place to live.

Most think it is Duval Street night after night. Once for me. No more. The once being when I first started coming to Key West 26 years ago. After a few years, I had it with Duval. Too much for me. The excitement gone.

I still hit a bar or restaurant occasionally. That’s it. Don’t do one bar after another anymore.

Some things I did yesterday and will do today reflect the peaceful existence I enjoy.

Researched and wrote all day yesterday. Chart Room last night. Only the Chart Room. Sat at the bar and chatted with John. For a while with Phil from Minneapolis who sat next to me.

Phil only 36. A hard worker. Ha already made his mark and a bit of a fortune in an intellectual property firm he founded and sold. He is on vacation with an absolutely lovely lady friend. They are staying at the Pier House.

Enjoyed my time with John and Phil. Stimulating conversation.

A tough day ahead today. A haircut and manicure. Several hours apart. I will read and write in between.

Tonight, bocce. Though I no longer play because of my heart, I am still carried on the team roster. I sit on the players’ bench and cheer my friends on. Enjoying a couple of drinks at the same time.

I had to stop playing a couple of years ago. When I bent over to pick up the ball, I fell over. My  team mates began doing he bending and handing me the ball. Kind of them. Made me foolish.

Then I started losing strength when I threw the ball. That definitely was the end. I was of no value to the team.

I retired from bocce.

Conch Republic Days begin tomorrow. A many event weekend. Adults playing like children. I will watch some of the activities.

The carrier fleet heading for North Korean waters a continuing fiasco. No one assumes responsibility.

The USS Vinson was more than 3,000 miles away heading for the Indian Ocean for war games with Australia. Has been turned around and is now heading for Korean waters. Still around 3,000 miles away.

An obvious screw up. Trump and his people take the position that they were correct when they said the carrier fleet was heading for Korean waters. They never said when, however. Now that the Vinson has turned around, the fleet is heading for Korean waters.

Ergo, no one was misled.

We all make mistakes! Own up to them when they occur.

Trump came out with another beauty yesterday. He said Korea “actually used to be a part of China.” Truth searchers say no.

Tillerson announced yesterday he is seeking an exception for Russia from certain sanctions. Russia and Exxon-Mobile discovered what may be the largest oil deposit ever in Arctic waters. Saudi Arabia’s deposits minuscule in comparison.

Russia and the oil company are engaged in a joint venture/ownership in drilling for the oil. Work stopped because of the sanctions.

Tillerson says let the work proceed. What is he thinking? Here we are investigating Russia for tampering with our elections. Consider also Tillerson was CEO of Exxon-Mobile for 15 years.

Tillerson forgets he now works for the people of the United States.

Enjoy your day!



I am concerned. I am uncomfortable with the bombings. I do not approve of them.

There is a silence that permeates the past couple of days. When domestic issues were at the forefront, everyone was discussing what was going on. Especially related to healthcare. People on the street as well as the media.

We bomb Syria and Afghanistan, the silence is overwhelming. This weekend it could be North Korea. When North Korea, the bombings will be big time. Not 59 missiles or the mother of all bombs.

ISIS could still retaliate. On our shores. Several Boston marathon type hits. North Korea, a disaster. I envision the USS Vinson being hit and possibly sunk.

If we stay on the road of these military adventures, expect disaster to strike our shores. You hit me, I am going to hit you back and harder. We are inviting such action.

Then everyone will be talking.

Headed to bocce last night. No one there. No bocce. A bye night.

I headed over to Don’s Place. Sure to run into my team mates. I did. David, Stan, and Clare. Also, Frankie, Sandra and Mike. A couple of drinks and good conversation.

Stopped at Publix on the way home. Still dieting. Will not sunday. I buy diet groceries in small amounts so extra Publix visits required.

Donna telephoned while I was wandering the aisles of Publix. Invited me to dinner tonight. I am to be Donna and Terri’s guest at Conch Republic for stone crabs.

Can’t wait.

The streets were flooded yesterday. Rain extremely heavy in the morning. High tide mid morning. Never fails.

The drama continues. Count von Cosel and his love Elena Hoyos Mesa.

Von Cosel stole her body from the grave. He kept her remains in his bed at home for 7 years. Then discovered. He was never tried. Statute of limitations.

Von Cosel had a large mausoleum constructed for her remains in the Key West Cemetery. Some time later, von Cosel left Key west for good. Two hours after he left Key West, the mausoleum exploded. Fractured into several pieces.

It was believed von Cosel was responsible. Every one assumed he was guilty. Never charged. The town figured he was crazy and good riddance that he had let Key West.

Today, a sad day in American history. Lincoln shot. He was at the Ford Theater in Washington.  Shot in the back of his head.

He was taken across the street to the Petersen House. A boarding house. He was placed on a bed in a back room.

Lincoln died early the next morning.

I visited Washington as a tourist several years ago. For a whole week. My visits included the Ford Theater and the Petersen House.

Two recollections. The Ford Theater was small. The other was the bed that Lincoln lay on in the Petersen House. It had to be too small for a man of his stature.

Enjoy your day! If you are Christian, remember Jesus some time between noon and 3.