MEL FISHER…..THE INDIANA CHICKEN FARMER WHO MADE GOOD

Some persons become legends in their own time. Key Westers recall their legendary figures. Among others, Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, Sloppy Joe, Captain Tony, Mel Fisher.

Mel Fisher concerns me today.

Key West annually celebrates Mel Fisher. Mel Fisher Days this year are July 12-14. Party time. All kind of activities befitting Mel Fisher.

Mel Fisher’s claim to fame is that he discovered a part of the Spanish galleon Atocha. Recovered $400 million in gold, emeralds and other jewelry.

His story.

Mel was a chicken farmer from Indiana. Eventually, he,  his wife Doe and family, ended up in Key West. Fisher was convinced there was gold in off shore waters. He spent 16 years looking for it. Lean years. Sacrificing time for the Fisher family.

Fisher would begin each day by telling his crew…..Today’s the day! For 16 years.

Finally, he scored.

The Atocha was ladened with gold, emeralds and other jewels. On their way to Spain. Atocha was one of a convoy of 28 ships. Some had problems. The convoy left 6 weeks late. Five weeks into the tropical storm season.

A hurricane hit the second day out. The Atocha went down.

On August 20, 1985, Fisher discovered a part of the Atocha. He was able to salvage $400 million in gold, emeralds and other jewelry.

Still not his. Spain made claim to the fortune. Fisher fought Spain and others all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Fisher won. The Court ruled in effect…..Finders keepers!

Obviously changed Fisher’s life and that of his family.

The man earned it.

My evening yesterday began with Liz Moody’s birthday party. Eighty four years and going strong!

A beautiful woman. A glowing face and personality.

Many friends in attendance.

Age is taking its toll. A broken hip that never mended properly. A diabetic whose problem frequently gets out of control. She was released two days ago from the hospital where the fight to stabilize her sugar took place for 15 days.

Liz parties well. She had a good time. I had a good time. Everyone had a good time.

Then to the Chart Room. Looking for Kevin. He had purchased tickets for a group of us to see Howie Mandell monday evening at the Key West Theater. Needed to pick up my ticket and pay $59. A bargain from my perspective.

I have always enjoyed Mandell. It will be good to laugh continuously monday evening.

David stopped by for a moment.

New friends Ray and Augusta at the bar. Enjoyed their company.

Stopped at Sandy’s Cafe on the way home for something to eat. Food at Liz’s party. I drank however instead of eating. Read the newspapers and enjoyed a Cuban cheese toast with tomato and a large Cuban coffee. The gin earlier was not enough to give me a bang. Needed the Cuban coffee.

Home early. In bed by 9:30. Slept well. Slept late this morning.

Trump, Brussels and the NATO Conference. Trump embarrassed us. His conduct disgraceful.

He beat the hell out of Germany’s Angela Merkel. Improperly so. He never has his facts right. Referred to Germany as “totally controlled” by and “captive” to Russia.

He deficated upon NATO as a whole for failing to keep up with individual payments to NATO. Implied clearly the U.S. was being forced to pay more than it should. He said the U.S. was paying 90 percent of NATO’s bills. Not correct. Sixty six percent. Note that payments are determined by how much money a nation earns per year.

A press conference this morning. Trump made it sound like everything was now kumbaya. Everyone happy. Claimed he made it so. He forced the others to agree to reach the 2 percent level by 2024.

The 40 minute press conference crowded with additional Trump lies. The English like me. He was headed to England following the press conference. The English hate him! Only 11 percent like him. The 2 percent going to 4 percent soon after 2024. No such promise made. Merely Trump’s idea.

He failed to explain some pertinent facts. Perhaps he did not know. He does not prepare for these meetings.

Trump claimed England buys 70 percent of its gas from Russia. Not true. Only 33 percent. Note most European countries buy gas from Russia. It’s cheap. The U.S. cannot compete with the Russian charges because of the distance and lack of a pipe line.

Trump was not aware that although most NATO nations were behind in the 2 percent contributions, they were far ahead of the United States in humanitarian aid. Eurounion countries provide such aid to the tune of $12 billion a year as opposed to  the U.S.’s $6 billion.

Trump can only see one way. He does not take into account peripheral items.

He forgets also that NATO troops have been fighting along side U.S. troops in Afghanistan for 16 years. Eleven thousand non U.S. NATO troops have died.

A question. The U.S. imports 43 percent of its imported oil from Canada. Does that make the U.S. “totally controlled” by and “captive” of Canada?

Paul Manafort was moved yesterday to another jail. It was discovered his jail time came with unique privileges. He had a larger than normal cell, a private bathroom and shower, a personal telephone (made 300 calls), separate work space to prepare for trial, and was permitted to have a lap top in his cell.

Not normal. Unusual. Reminded me of how Mafia bootleggers were treated when jailed back in the 1920’s.

Have to hustle. Haircut time.

Enjoy your day!

HORSE MANURE…..FREE

Only in Key West…..Free horse manure. Composed. Fully cooked and garden ready.

The Police Department has two horses. Their waste collected, recycled, and offered free to the citizenry once a year.

The manure will be available this saturday at 10 am. The pink PAL gym near the entrance to the Fort Zachary Taylor State Park entrance.

My podcast show tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

The show begins with several Trump hits. His wrongdoings from my perspective.

Followed by special interest groups lobbying against marijuana, Chicago Police Department’s high suicide rate, police prepared with missile launchers to oppose Sioux Indians at Standing Rock, Mark Zuckerberg wanting to be President, and more.

Last night, a Chart Room evening. Quiet. Met Mike. He joined Victor and me in interesting dialogue. A couple of hours worth. Covered a multitude of sins.

Mike is an owner of Gas Monkey on Duval. The 200 block. Right in the middle of the action.

Technically known as the Gas Monkey Bar & Grill. Drinks and barbecued foods.

Mike now a local.

The Gas Monkey is cognizant of local business. Want it. Locals receive a 15 percent discount. On thursdays, 25 percent.

I will shortly be trying the place.

When I first began visiting Key West more than 25 years ago, water vessels were small. Rarely, a big yacht. And then, not that big.

Things have changed. Huge yachts not uncommon.

The biggest so far sits moored off Sunset Key. The Super Yacht Venus. Two hundred fifty seven feet. Crew of 22. Built by Apple founder Steve Jobs.  Jobs died before its completion. His widow Laurese Powell now owner and master.

Tonight, Syracuse/Clemson. Clemson a 2 point favorite. Game at 8. Hopefully Syracuse can continue its recent winning ways.

In 1959, I was a senior in law school at Syracuse. Former President Harry Truman was visiting. The University set up a private luncheon for its purported 12 outstanding students. I was selected to represent the law school.

Two round tables. Seating cards. My seat was immediately to the right of Truman. The whole luncheon exciting! Especially, Truman!

Truman spoke of his unexpected victory over Dewey in 1948. No way Truman could win. Similar to no way could Trump win.

Truman won.

The media wanted to get out early with the election results. On radio and in the newspapers.

H. V. Kaltenborn, in his horsey voice, announced to all the world that Dewey had won. The Chicago Tribune’s headline was Dewey Wins!

Egg on both their faces.

Years later at the Syracuse luncheon, Truman was excited that Kaltenborn and the Chicago Tribune had screwed up. He got ’em!

The Boston Globe joined the ranks of media who came out early with an erroneous result. The Patriots/Falcons game. The front page article titled: A Bitter End. Referring to the defeat of the Boston Patriots.

Neither the Patriot victory nor the Boston Globe miscue ever to be forgotten.

An example of police brutality that should not have been.

It was March 17, 2013. Early morning. The place Los Angeles. Kim Nguyen a graduate student in an MBA program.

Kim apparently had too much to drink. Publicly drunk. She was arrested. Her hands cuffed behind her. She was placed in the back seat of a police car. A police officer with her.

The police officer did not seat belt her nor lock the door next to her. Both required procedures.

On the way to the police station, the officer tried to rape her. Nguyen fighting him off best she could. His hands were to her bare crotch and breasts. The bottom of her dress torn from her.

Nguyen moved back against the door to protect herself. The vehicle was doing 30 mph. The door opened. She fell out. Landed on her face. Broken jaw and lost all her teeth. Jaw wired shut. She spent 17 days in the hospital.

Nguyen settled her case against Los Angles last week for $3.5 million. A proper ending.

Go Live with Key West Lou on Facebook going well. Increasing numbers every day. Comments 100 a day, give or take a few either way. I have only been at this show since last thursday. I am thrilled.

Join me on Facebook’s Go Live. Enter Key West Lou. See and hear me pontificate on something for a few minutes. A very brief few minutes. Sometimes less than a minute. Several times a day.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

KILL THE GOOSE THAT LAYS THE GOLDEN EGGS

Kill the Goose That Lays the Golden Egg is the modern rendition of To Kill the Goose That Laid Golden Eggs. An Aesop fable. Interpreted to mean unprofitable action motivated by greed.

Applicable to the Key West City Commission. They’re doing it again!

Residents, snowbirds and tourists can be defecated upon only so much. Then the bird dies. In this instance by fewer making Key West their home or place to visit.

This morning’s Key West Citizen reports the City Commission is proposing a parking rate hike. An additional $1 per hour. I can’t tell you with certainty what the rate is now. Only because it is different depending where you park. I suspect the Bight’s large lot is the most expensive.

The extra dollar will be distributed 40 percent to affordable housing, 37 percent to the gas tax fund to study implementation of alternative transportation methods, and 33 percent to the City’s general fund.

As to affordable housing, much has already been spent with little result. Studies and limited construction.

Alternative transportation methods? Key West hired several months ago a director of such. He has already garnered a grant to help with his work. I cannot believe big dollars are required to solve the traffic problem. Sit a bunch of residents down and they will immediately tell you what has to be done without pissing a ton of money away.

The 27 percent to the City’s general fund is a gimmick to receive more dollars that can be easily spent at the discretion of the Commission. Tax dollars do not seem to be enough.

To the Commission I say:  Keep it up fellows. You are going to keep people away. Destroy the economy of Key West. Perhaps, not a bad idea. Lets go back to the 1970’s when things were slower, quieter, cheaper, and there was no traffic problem.

Hotels, restaurants and bars are equally guilty. How much can they charge? Apparently the sky is the limit.

Great Ryder Cup finish yesterday. Watched it from home.

Dinner last night at Roostica. The Sunday special. Spaghetti in a pork meat sauce with meatballs and sausage. Just like my grandmother made! Love it!

My grandmother did her cooking on a large kerosene stove. The way it was done back then. I can still see her standing and cooking at the kerosene stove. The late 1930s through the 1940s. I was a young kid back then.

Diana Millikan wrote she had lunch at Roostica yesterday. Her first time there.

Diana is a snowbird. Recently returned. She is all over the island. Into everything. She went to the Casa Marina for the sole purpose of viewing the lobby’s wood beamed ceiling. She is at the library constantly digging up further William Hackley information. She is the one who came up with the Hackley maid being a rented slave.

Hurricane Matthew to be watched. Still a #4. Eventually will reach Cuba. Then supposed to turn north avoiding the keys and most of Florida. After that, who knows?

I worry. Cannot help it. I repeat, hurricanes are fickle. They change course without warning. Note also that Matthew went from a #1 to a #5 in one day.

Hackley complaning today his piles will not stay up and are very sore. I sympathize with him.

Big baseball anniversary today. On this date in 1951, Bobby Thomson hit the “shot heard ’round the world.” Last game of National League Playoff. Bottom of the 9th. Brooklyn Dodgers winning 4-2 when Thomson came to bat. Two on. Thomson hit a 3 run home run, giving the New York Giants the win 5-4.

I was in high school at the time. Working part time in a super market. Stocking canned goods on a shelf. The radio playing throughout the store. Everyone went crazy when Thomson hit the home run.

How far we have come. The game was the first major sporting event televised coast to coast.

To Victor at the Chart Room: I am supposed to meet someone at the Chart Room tonight at 6. Never met him before. He is a blog reader. I cannot find his e-mail to tell him I can’t make it. My heart doctor has rescheduled me to 5 this afternoon. Please tell him the new time is 6 thursday. Ask him to send me an e-mail confirming.

Thank you.

Enjoy your day!

 

MARIO SANCHEZ BAG SKETCHES

My evening yesterday began at the Custom House. The Mario Sanchez Bag Sketch Exhibit.

I was interested for a number of reasons. I had never seen the bag sketches. They were being shown from  the collection of David Wolkowsky. David was to attend in the company of Christina Oxenberg. Christina is a new writer for KONK Life. Her writings exciting. I was looking forward to meeting her.

Sadly, David and Christina did not appear.

The exhibit was scheduled for 5:30. I arrived at the Custom House at 5:20. The humidity heavy. No breeze.

The Custom House doors locked. Opened precisely at 5:30.

I got in line to enter. Noticed a charming cheerful woman at the door marking names off as people entered. I had not made a reservation. Then it dawned on me, the showing must only be for members.

I found out when it was my turn to be signed in. The first half hour was members only. I politely explained I did not want to stand outside in the humidity for a half hour.

Genius touched me. I said, I join! She was thrilled. I was handed over to another lady who gave me an application and told me to mail it in with my check.

The exhibit. A wow!

Much of Sanchez’s work involved wood carvings. The carvings had first to be sketched on paper. Precisely. Sanchez used unfolded grocery paper bags. Rudimentary sketches of what would ultimately be a lovely wood carving.

Seventy one bag sketches. All interesting.

Ran into Carl at the exhibition. Last saw Carl at the bocce party a couple of week’s ago. His wife Nancy a loyal blog reader. We chatted a bit. Nancy in New York so I did not have the pleasure of seeing her again.

Sheila was there. Sheila worked at the Custom House at one time.

My day started at Body Owners. Anti-gravity treadmill time. My speed increased a bit more. I am pushing myself. The next time I work out I shall reach the speed where I was when I had to stop. Then I work on time. I am only at 50 percent time wise.

Lovely Jenny worrying about me.

From the treadmill to the Cuban Coffee Queen for lunch. My usual. Cuban cheese toast and an iced Cuban coffee. Read the newspapers.

Ruby continues  to impress me. I watched her handling the customers. All kinds of people and dispositions. Ruby does well.

Felt like doing something different. Decided to visit the Butterfly Museum. The Key West Butterfly and Nature Observatory. Had not been there in a couple of years. Last time with the grandkids. This time alone.

I think I was looking for peace. Motivated my visit. My recollection was that it was peaceful to walk through the foliage with butterflies fluttering around. Some setting on your shoulder for a minute or two.

I was right. It was a calming experience.

After the Custom House, I stopped into the Chart Room. Victor bartending. Met Jimmy Riggins from Pensacola. Jimmy in the pharmaceutical business.

We were the only persons in the Chart Room.

Victor is a Libertarian. We got into a discussion of values. Victor contributing the Libertarian views and Jimmy and I the opposite side. Victor beat our asses! He had an intelligent response for each issue raised.

Duffy’s for dinner. A prime rib.

Duffy’s has changed its menu. No more prime rib in three different cuts. I used to get the small one. One cut only now. The large one. I could not finish it. Left almost half. A waste of money. I will have to examine the new menu and find some dishes I can finish. I hate waste.

Kari waiting tables. Had not seen her in a while. She and Boomer were off somewhere visiting family for 2-3 weeks.

Sarah bartending. Someone I met for the first time sitting at the bar. Jane. Jane works the Fury. She has a Captain’s license. I was impressed.

Her boy friend is up in Jersey working this summer. She is off to visit him soon. First time visit to the Jersey shore. Told her one of my favorite places. She will enjoy.

As the world turns. Things change with time.

West Hollywood’s Sunset Strip/Sunset Boulevard has become over the years a shady undesirable place. Drugs, prostitution, etc. The derelicts of society.

Hustler’s Larry Flint’s flagship store was located on the Strip. It was recently sold for $18.3 million to make way for the Arts Club. The Arts Club being an elite members only social club. Rents will range from $3,500-$22,000 a month. No cheapy. Other extremely expensive projects under construction.

Enjoy your day!

 

TIM AND MAUREEN

I enjoyed a few drinks with David last night at the Chart Room.

While we were talking, a couple approached. Tim and Maureen from Tennessee to say hello. We met for the first time last March.

Our conversation revealed we had mutual Key West friends.

Nice people. Glad they stopped by. They are Key Westers in the making. Told them to buy a house!

Prior to the Chart Room, I had a doctor visit at 4. Then a drink at Square 1. Bocce friend and Square 1 chef Jay came by to chat. He leaves today or tomorrow for Park City, Utah to snowboard.

A stop followed at Studios of Key West. The new art gallery is fantastic! Loved it! The work being shown Martiini, the artist who works with metal. Many of his pieces large and magnificent. As were the prices. Wow!

I make the money observation because I purchased two of Martini’s works about 20 years ago. Large pieces. In the $200-300 range. None even close to that price range today.

A work by Christine Cordone was hanging. A lovely water color.

Then walked across the street to listen to Judy Blume speak on behalf of the Friends of Key West Library. The line was long. Wrapped around the block as far as the eye could see. I was not in the mood to wait in line. Skipped Judy Blume.

Walked Duval a bit. The new CVS in place of Fast Buck Freddie’s not as bad as I thought it would be. Yet, no where Fast Buck Freddie’s windows. A part of Key West lost forever.

Ran into Guy deBoer. He was sitting in front of the cigar store on Duval a few doors past St. Paul’s. He was writing today’s E-News Blast.

Earlier, I was driving down Duval towards the Pier House. A tourist woman on a bicycle in front of me. In front of her, an electric cart of tourists. Tourists are easy to recognize.

We had to stop for the light at Caroline. The woman on the bike went around to the side of the electric cart. She proceeded to berate the hell out of the driver. No question, she was mad!

She was telling him he came within a foot of her as he drove past. I smiled. A foot is a lot of room on Duval. Especially around 5 in the late afternoon.

The World Almanac Section in this morning’s Key West Citizens notes  the British burned down the Library of Congress and its 3,000 volumes in 1814. A new Library to be built. No books, however. The World Almanac indicated the government purchased Thomas Jefferson’s library of 6,487 books.

The reason for the purchase not mentioned.

Congress authorized the purchase because Jefferson was broke. He laid in bed dying a bankrupt in effect. Congress properly felt an obligation to one of our nation’s founders. Ergo, the purchase.

My blog talk radio show tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. Join me. Interesting topics. Cutting edge. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

I have to hustle. Back to the doctor’s at 8:30. Fasting blood work.

Enjoy your day!

 

ROBB AND JORDAN

The Chart Room last night.

The bar was empty when I arrived. A good sized crowd by the time I left. Nothing however like the hordes on the streets and sidewalks. The biggest Christmas week crowd I have seen.

Victor and I chatted about dogs. Victor has two. I do not recall the breed. Showed me a picture. Lovely! About 20 pounds each. We talked about love, training and other dog things.

It started to get busy. A young couple sat next to me. After a while, the male part asked if I was Key West Lou.

Robb asked the question. Robb is 35. He was with his lady friend Jordan who is 27. Charming people. Presently from Jacksonville. Both school teachers. Robb, high school math. Jordan, pre-K.

Jordan has a distinguished background. While in college, she was an All-American lacrosse player. Impressive!

Robb has visited Key West several times. This a first time visit for Jordan.

Robb says he reads my blog daily. Jordan affirmed his statement. Robb spouted out things I write about. His recollection better than mine.

Robb had prepared a list of places to go. Based on blog comments. A compliment.

Yesterday, they had lunch at Hogfish. Last night, dinner was scheduled for the Hot Tin Roof following our visit. He was in the Chart Room with Jordan last night hoping to find me.

The visit a great one. I look forward to being with them again in the future.

Two Key Westers on the front page of the Key West Citizen this morning. One’s story a happy one. The other, sad.

Happy first.

Bobby Nesbitt the Familiar Face designee. More than 40 years in Key West. A Key West icon. An entertainer supreme. I love hearing Bobby sing!

Sad next.

Former Judge Tegan Slaton died. He had some medical problems in 2014 and resigned. One, he fell asleep during a trial.

I met the Judge only once. The bocce playoffs several months after his resignation. Our teams were playing each other. The Judge was a member of the #1 monday night team. They had won the playoffs several years in a row. I figured they were going to kill us. They did.

At some point, the Judge came over and asked if I was Key West Lou. I said yes. He thanked me for neither writing about him nor dumping on him when he was having his problems. The Judge a class act, I thought. I thanked him. I never dump on a person who is down.

May the Judge rest in peace. To me, a good guy who met some bumps in the road.

Key West is a dog community. Thursday, the 11th Annual Dachshunds Walk.

Meadowlark Lemon passed on. One of the great, if not greatest, Harlem Globetrotter players. I enjoyed watching him play several times in the 1950s and 1960s. Generally with my Dad, which added to the experience.

My blog talk radio show tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. Join me for a quick hard hitting half hour. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Topics include the brewing Trump/Clinton sex war, warmongering pays, numbers showing the economy not really in recovery, a cashless society around the corner, transgender rights moving faster than gay rights ever did, IRS by law to use bill collectors rather than IRS agents to collect defaults, a Kentucky mall fight involving 2,000, and more.

Enjoy your day!

INTERESTING SUNDAY

I live in Key West time. Words made famous by Howard Livingston. I go with the flow. Never quite sure what I will be doing each day. Never disappointed by how the day works out.

Yesterday was a Key West day. Knew I had to get the daily blog out. Then write this week’s KONK Life column. The column took me six hours. Controversial. I titled the column Muslim Refugees…..No. Not so much because of the terrorist thing. More because they want to take over once they arrive. Everything must be their way.

Guaranteed interesting!

It was close to 5. What now, I thought. Showered, shaved and headed out to Kate Miano’s Gardens. The best Key West venue early sunday evenings.

I only stayed a half hour. Enjoyed the music. Said some hellos. Suddenly, I was bored. I like to meet new people. Generally do at the Gardens. Last night, not.

Stopped at the Chart Room for a drink. Turned out to be a good idea.

Victor bartending. They say bartenders know everything. Victor does. He is an intellectual. For real. He gave me a political philosophy book to read several months ago. I could only get 50 pages into it. Too heavy for me. Not for Victor though.

Victor sent a comment/observation into the Key West Citizen’s Citizens’ Voice. It ran sunday. The first one listed.

Rents and rental property availability crucial issues in Key West today. Victor brought up military housing. Most military opt to live off base. When they do, they qualify for a housing allowance. Around $2,000 a month.

Victor believes the housing allowance amount is a contributing factor to high rents. The government setting the amount. He also believes that the military use of housing takes rentable properties off the market, thereby contributing to higher rents. Not enough rental properties available.

While chatting away with Victor and some tourists, a relatively young couple came in. Thirtyish. All over each other. The male said they were merely friends and were waiting for their spouses who were still upstairs. They then went to the bar along the window. I glanced over. The male was sitting on a stool with his legs open. The female with her posterior backed into his you know what. Laughing. Obviously enjoying themselves.

The spouses came in a little later. Beaming. Explained to all they were not married to each other. Their spouses the ones at the window bar.

What a country America! What a place Key West! I am 80 years old. This is the first time I have seen public swinging inference/activity.

Time to eat. Hot Tin Roof across the street. A couple of weeks since I had been there. Ate lightly. Mac lobster and cheese and asparagus. A healthy combination!

A new bartender. Matt. He reads my KONK Life column. I was thrilled! He especially enjoyed last week’s Sexual Tales of Old. The Julius Caesar part the best. He said he also enjoyed Hemingway’s First Love written several weeks ago.

Keep reading me, Matt! Love people who take the time to read what I write.

Weather looks good today. A bit cool this morning. Around 72 degrees. Wind strong. Twenty plus miles an hour. Palm trees bending a bit. Ocean water very bumpy and moving fast. I would not want to be out on a boat today.

The Studios of Key West is opening a bookstore. First floor on the corner of Eaton and Simonton. To be called Book & Book. Apparently a chain. My understanding is that Studios will own it, however.

I love book stores. Especially those with comfortable chairs. I hope Studios puts a few in. I loved going to Borders and reading a couple of hours some afternoons. Borders probably went out of business because people like me were free loading. I read much, bought little.

Enjoy your day!

 

JACK KELLY

My undergraduate school was Manhattan College. Over the past few years, Jack Kelly and I have run into each other at the Chart Room. Jack a Manhattan grad also. A bit younger than me. He graduated in 1968. I, 1957.

The Manhattan College thing provided instant bonding.

Jack once had a home on Cudjoe Key. Long gone. In recent years, he has been taking a week here and there to visit Key West.

Jack was at the Chart Room last night. Always good to see him. We talked a bit about Manhattan and some of the grads. One or two we both know. Then Jack surprised me. He is returning to Key West full time.

Jack is buying a home in Bayview. He is also in the process of closing on three restaurants. That’s returning big time!

One is the former Finnegan’s Wake. Last operated for several days as Backspace. Jack will be reopening it as Cayheuso. A tapas place.

Another is World of Beer. Near Sloppy Joe’s. Jack plans on naming the new establishment Jack Kelly’s Citizen. Such vanity! Not really. Turns out the location was the first home of the Key West Citizen.

The third place is on Front Street. Across from Two Guys. Not Island Dogs. Next door to Island Dogs. An empty two story commercial building.

The name of the new enterprise escapes me. Its purpose not. Jack intends it to be family friendly. In addition to food, etc., the restaurant will provide all kinds of games for the kiddies to busy themselves with. Even the parents.

Jack is retired Air Force. He presently lives in Washington, DC. He remains active with the Arnold Air Society.

Welcome back, Jack! Good luck!

Jack and I hung together for a few hours at the Chart Room. While there, I met Devin Callahan. A snow bird. He is in Key West frequently. Surprising we had not met before.

Then Wilk and Erin. Their second visit to Key West. Hail from Spring Lake, NJ. My cousin Lois had a summer home there and I frequently visited. A high rent district.

Wilk liked my watch. He kept looking at it and commenting. He has one similar to mine. The watch is nothing fancy. A SWATCH. I bought it at an airport kiosk in Athens three years ago.

I learned something about the watch. It is water proof. Never knew. He says he showers and everything with it on. Showed me on the back where it says Water-Resistant.

We got into Lobsterfest. Wilk and Erin are enjoying the event. He did mention however he was shocked when they had to pay $15 each for two broiled lobsters on the street. He initially thought the price out of line. So did I when he mentioned it. However after tasting and enjoying the lobsters, he said they were well worth it.

The high point of the conversation was when Wilk told me he was a Mercedes technician. Joy of joys! I bought a Mercedes 420 SEL new in 1987. Kept it 27 years before selling. In mint condition. Only 124,000 miles. Never driven in winter the last 20 years. Everything original and in good shape.

I took care of the Mercedes. Probably because it was the first expensive car I ever bought. Paid $54,000 cash in ’87. A lot of money for a car back then. A lot of money period!

Lobsterfest by the way appears to be a gigantic success this year. Makes me happy. Lots of kids. A family event.

Met Tyler and Sandy. Celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary. Congratulations! They are from Cherry Hills, NJ. It was a New Jersey evening.

Tyler is in real estate. Sandy a distributor for Wegmans. Sandy was surprised I knew of Wegmans. Not a southern supermarket. I explained I originally am from upstate New York. Ergo, know Wegmans.

Jack, Tyler, Sandy and I ended up having a late dinner at Michael’s. Great food! Enjoyed the veal chop. The dinner conversation enjoyable. Humorous on occasion. Jack, Tyler and Sandy good company.

The lovely Suzette bartending.

A long day ahead for me. I will be writing this week’s KONK Life column. The research is complete. It is the story of Ernest Hemingway and Agnes von Kurkowsky. Their love story. Agnes was Hemingway’s nurse when he was recovering from war wounds. Agnes is Catherine Barkley in A Farewell To Arms.

There is more to the story than most know. I will be tracing the impact of their love affair into the 1960s.

Enjoy your Sunday!