RANDOM IRMA HAPPENINGS

I feel like a refugee. I am a refugee. Fleeing Irma.

Some random experiences/happenings the past 24 hours. All Irma related one way or another.

The media has pointedly described Irma: A looming apocalypse…..The surge a minor tsunami…..A lawnmower from the sky.

Spent yesterday afternoon watching Alabama/Fresno State. Alabama killed little Fresno State. My hosts Jean and Joe are Alabama graduates and die hard Alabama fans. I was glad for them.

Followed the game up with a nap. Still tired from the drive.

Rose for cocktail hour. Drinks/drinking excellent! Never had a Beefeaters last night, though a giant bottle was waiting for me when I arrived. Margaritas and wine. The wine exceptional.

Dinner a holiday table. Great food. A neighbor prepared lasagna. Another prepared a Texas streetcake. Chocolate. Absolutely delicious! The wine flowed continuously. Joe started things off with a prayer. Called for under the circumstances.

There are only 9 of us here. Feels like much more. Fortunately, the house is large enough so we neither run into each other and can get a degree of privacy if so desired.

Several slept on sleeping bags and couches last night. Jean had two neighbors who offered private rooms and  beds. We all opted to stay together in one house. Team spirit.

The Sheriff moved the 460 Monroe County Jail inmates from Stock Island to a facility in Palm Beach County. One hundred twenty five correction officers went with them and will remain with them.

I do not understand why the inmates were moved. The jail imposing stone and brick.

The Sheriff also maintains an animal farm. Many animals. Well taken care of. A place to visit. The animals were moved from the farm to the jail.

If the jail is safe enough for treasured animals, it should have been safe enough for the inmates.

As of 9 this morning, US 1 not flooded. Except for one lane in Islamorada.

The TV channels are not reporting Irma properly. A lot of talk and next to no video re Key West. Everything video wise primarily Miami.

It is obvious there are no TV people in Key West.

TV is trying to fool people. They got caught by those of us in this house. They ran a video of a flooded Key Largo street. Water rolling as far as the eye could see. 2-3 feet. Two streets.

The streets were Duval and Front in  Key West.

Gotcha!

Saw a picture on my cell phone of a woman lighting a candle at St. Mary’s of the Sea in Key West. Large votive candles. A statue of the Blessed Mother.

The belief is if candles are lite and prayers said asking for relief from a storm, such conduct will help. I am not being disrespectful, but I have never seen a Key West hurricane avoided by such conduct.

Saw another video of the White Street Pier on Facebook. The Pier totally covered in water. Right up to the rails. Huge waves pouring over the rails. Two Key Westers running around taking the video. Finally, one of them shouted to the other: Lets get out of here…..this place is too dangerous!

The Marriott Beachside opened its doors yesterday or a day before to guests. Minimum rate. The place is packed with those who stayed. Like Mark Watson. The Marriott was built to sustain a category 5.

Mark Watson reported on Facebook yesterday that they had moved him from a first floor room to a third floor one. Sounded ominous.

La Concha is also taking guests. Built somewhere back in the 1920’s. Survived over the years. Thought safe.

I have considered Florida’s Governor Scott a flaming asshole up to this point. His political/social decisions rarely helpful to the populace in general. Favor the affluent.

He has turned me around. His Irma conduct beyond belief. His actions thought out and necessary. Like ok for a line of traffic to travel on highway shoulders. Move the cars faster!

In prior storms, all traffic lanes move in one direction. The game plan to get people out of danger’s way faster. For Irma, one lane kept open going the other way. Fuel trucks. To get needed gasoline to the southern part of the State.

Every conceivable way has been utilized to get people out of harm’s way. Buses provided. Sick and elderly removed from their homes to a safe place. Etc.

Reported that police and fire have left. Felt everything conceivable had been done to get people out. I would agree. I do not believe that some police and fire did not remain. My friends e-mail me that some have remained at the Marriott Beachside.

The Audubon House. On the corner of Whitehead and Greene Streets. Built way back when by a Captain Geiger.

In 1832, the famous bird painter John James Audubon spent 20 days residing at the house. He discovered 18 new breed of birds and painted them.

Our little group has some persons purportedly knowledgeable about Audubon in Key West.

The story told is that Audubon would discover the new breed in the morning. Kill it. Stretch it on something so he could paint it. Painted in the afternoon. Cooked and ate the bird for dinner at night.

It was the eating of the bird in the evening that I found extraordinary.

Those of us here are bonding. I am waiting for someone to suggest we have an Irma reunion once a year.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

BLACK ANGEL OF DEATH

 

Terror can strike anywhere. Everywhere. Even Key West.

A criminal trial began yesterday in Federal District Court in Key West. The defendant, Harlem Suarez. His goal was to leave a backpack bomb on a Key West beach. In due course, the bomb would blow. People injured and killed.

Suarez a terrorist. Lived on Stock island.

The FBI were on to Suarez. Two undercover agents sold him an inert backpack bomb. Then arrested him.

Suarez had a Facebook site. He spoke of the glories of ISIS on the site. Also, ran pics. One of a terrorist holding the head of a decapitated woman.

Suarez referred to himself as the Black Angel of Death.

Lisa, my grandchildren, my friends, Key Westers, tourists, use the beaches.

Suarez should die.

My blog talk radio show tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. A quick half hour of interesting happenings. Some revealing. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

A multitude of topics. All exciting. Like Putin unhappy U.S. troops suddenly in Poland and Norway, police at Standing Rock had/have missile launchers, Trump to sign order today permitting Standing Rock and Keystone Pipeline to proceed, Chinese take lung cleansing vacations, affordable water a looming crisis.

Also, a Mexican TV channel being launched in the U.S., FDA approves a GMO pineapple for sale without testing, Chinese billionaire Jack Ma says U.S. priorities screwed up/wasted trillions on wars and Wall Street/not enough on its people, Mark Zuckerberg for President?, and more.

Only one place to be a 6 this evening. Aqua. For Aqua Idol. A several week singing contest. Great voices. Equally great planning by Lynda Frechette who spearheads the event.

Wind still blowing big time day time  yesterday. I took a ride over to the White Street Pier. In the past, extremely windy days resulted in waves crashing over the pier. A sight to see.

I was not disappointed. Nature pissed off. Waves rising high before slamming down on the pier.

I did not walk on the pier. Some did. I feared I would fall/get knocked over. I don’t need nature’s assistance to fall. I do well enough on my own.

The winds were 50 mph.

A portion of the Westin’s dock gave way because of the winds and waves. A mistake. Not the Westin anymore. Now the Margaritaville.

My evening began at Aqua last night. Dueling Bartenders time.Tom Luna one of the dueling bartenders. Last night his birthday. Celebrated with cake for all.

Barbara was with me. As we arrived, Liz and friends were leaving for dinner.

Walked over to Antonia’s for dinner afterwards. No room at the bar. Decided to head home, stopping at Outback first.

Syracuse/Wake Forest tonight. Syracuse a 2.5 point favorite. I have no idea who will win. My team not doing well this season.

Enjoy your day!

 

AMORGOS CALLED

Received a surprise call yesterday from Amorgos. My favorite Greek isle.

It was Anna. She decided to skip Santorini and go directly to Amorgos.

She was calling from Mythos. My favorite restaurant on Amorgos. She was with the owner Vangelis. Anna said as soon as she appeared at Mythos, Vangelis asked …..Where is Louis? Amazing. I have not seen him in three years.

I got to talk with Vangelis. He and his wife run Mythos. Their young 20ish daughter waits tables. They also have another daughter. A late in life surprise/joy. Has to be five now. When last there, she was a two year old toddler wobbling around the restaurant most of the day.

I spent most of my time at Mythos. Researching and writing. I did not miss a stroke while there. I got to Mythos about 10 in the morning. Had a late breakfast or early lunch. Worked til about 4. Returned in the evening for dinner.

Vangelis watched out for me. If I ordered something he thought I would not like, he nodded his head no. Sometimes he would not let me even order. He would say eat this tonight.

There are no sheep on Amorgos. Only goats. Hundreds of them. Yet the few restaurants are always selling lamb.

One morning, Vangelis said…..Tonight, you eat goat!

He had prepared the goat himself. Took me in the kitchen and showed it to me. It was rotating over a fire. Vangelis said when you taste this tonight, it will taste like lamb. It did.

I enjoyed Amorgos. Spent close to three months there overall. I should be vacationing there now. Maybe I would not have experienced chest pains. If I had, I would have been in trouble. No hospital, doctor or nurse. No airport. A boat ride to where ever.

Boring yesterday. Many days I screw off and do nothing. Stay home. Yesterday was different. I was required to stay home. No fun when there is a compulsion.

I read, watched TV and napped.

Television and Trump go hand in hand. He is still getting most of the TV time. The free time. Ninety percent of the TV time. It is a new issue with him every day. You forget anyone else is running for President.

I had an appointment with Tammy for a manicure at 2. Obviously could not keep it. Tammy will be my first stop when I am out saturday.

Edward B. Knight is a Key West icon. Ninety nine years old. Still sharp.

The White Street Pier was renamed yesterday in his honor. Much deserved. Key West is a better place because of him. He and David Wolkowsky could walk down the street arm in arm.

Oil, greed and politics go hand in hand.

The Golan Heights was part of Syria. Technically still is.  Israel occupied the Golan Heights in 1967 following the Arab/Israeli Six Day War. Israel never left. Israel has been building on the property over the years. While the United Nations has been trying to resolve the dispute over title. Palestinians and Israelis have been fighting for years.

Rupert Murdoch is well known world wide. He owns among other things FOX News and the Wall Street Journal. A billionaire. He is a major shareholder in Genie Energy. Genie Energy has an Israeli subsidiary.

Newt Gingrich is an adviser to Genie Energy.

The Israeli subsidiary is prepared to start drilling for oil on the Golan Heights.

While Palestinian/Israeli fighting continues.

Enjoy your day!

BRITISH VOTE

The news of the day! The result of the British Euro Union vote. Interesting.

Whether the proper outcome, I don’t know. Beyond my understanding of everything involved.

The result did hit me between the eyes with one factor. Loud and clear. The unhappiness, populist movement, immigration problems, concern and anger of the American people is the same as those of the British. Our problems are common. and seem to be similar to the problems of many other countries.

Which makes a Donald Trump possible.

Even a Bernie Sanders.

I watched Sanders on Morning Joe earlier. He needs as vacation. The man is tired. Aggressive in his responses. He has reached the point where he is taking himself too seriously. He is heart attack material.

Saw Trump land at Turnberry. His new golf course. His only one in Scotland. I was not sure if it was one or two when I wrote yesterday.

Trump is not loved in Turnberry. He had a multitude of fights with local officials during the course’s construction.

My yesterday was a haircut with Lori and a visit to my heart doctor, Dr. Mc Ivor.

No problem with the haircut. May be a problem with the heart. I have been scheduled for a heart catheterization tuesday. All recent test results good. however, I am getting frequent chest pains. Nitroglycerin relieves the pain almost immediately.

Could be stress. Too much sun and good times.

We who live in the lower Keys and read the Key West Citizen every day have acquired a new friend. William Hackley. The Citizen obtained a copy of Hackley’s diary. 1855. He lived in Key West. Rose around 4 each morning, took a walk and then a bath. Gives us the temperature. Then tells us of his daily exploits. He was a prominent citizen, lawyer and public attorney.

Hackley also owned land. Farm land. Grew hemp. He worked the fields some days together with his field hands.

Hemp had value back then. Maybe even now. I came across an article written by Ellen Brown titled: The War on Weed Is Winding Down – But Will Monsanto Be the Winner. Published June 23, 2016.

Lengthy and informative.

An interesting portion…..”In early America, it was considered a farmer’s patriotic duty to grow hemp. Cannabis was legal tender from 1631 until early 1800s. Americans could even pay taxes with it. Benjamin Franklin’s paper mill used cannabis…..Hemp was also an essential resource for any country with a shipping industry, since it was the material from which sails and rope were made.”

I do not sense Hackley was in the cannabis business. 1855 appears to late for the hemp to be used as money. Hackley however did reside in Key West which was a shipping port. A significant shipping industry existed at the time. I suspect Hackley sold his hemp crop to those who manufactured sails and rope.

His diary so far is silent as to what he did with the hemp.

A lot of talk re the black topping of the White Street Pier. Some say it looks lousy. I agree. Supposed to gray with time, however. Some say too hot to walk on. I agree.

End of story. Job complete. It will be many years before it is covered again.

Ninety nine year old Key West icon Edward B. Knight still alive. Active. The White Street Pier is being renamed in his honor. July 2nd at 10 in the morning. A large crowd expected.

Turtle time again. This morning’s KONK E-Blast ask boaters to beware of turtles. They need to come up for air. Boat blades are prone to cut them up.

We are turtle crazy in the Keys!

Two Syracuse players were drafted by NBA teams last night. Freshman Malachi Richardson went 22nd. Senior Michael Gbinije 49th.

I question whether Richardson will make it. He has a temperament problem. Does not listen. Boeheim had to bench him a couple of times causing Malachi to miss whole games.

Gbinije a winner! Talented, level headed and can play different positions. I look for him to bloom.

My KONK Life column this week is Napoleon 2 Xs. Story involves mosquitoes, yellow fever, and hemorrhoids. As Napoleon was impacted by them.

The article hit the stands yesterday. It is featured in this morning’s E-Blast and was also linked to my Key West Lou website this morning.

Enjoy your day!

 

DIVERSITY USA

Big days for the Key West gay and lesbian community. Actually, big days for the entire Key West community.

This is Pride Week. Pride Week salutes diversity in Key West. One of America’s leading gay and lesbian communities.

All kinds of events. The Rainbow Bike Parade tonight. Begins 6:30 at Bayview Park. A Pride Street Fair on the 700-900 blocks of Duval saturday. The Pride Parade sunday at 5. Plus more.

In addition to Pride activities, Miss Gay USofA was recently crowned in Dallas. She belongs to Key West. In order to be eligible for the national pageant, she had to win a local one. She did. In January, Miss Gay Southernmost USofA.

The pageant consists of female impersonators and transgenders. Aurora Sexton represented Key West. Congrats Auora

The key thing is we all live together in Key West as One Happy Family. No question about it.

The White Street Pier was to be renamed in honor of Edward B. Knight. The event rained out. Soon to be rescheduled. Ed Knight deserving of the recognition.

My yesterday began with the anti-gravity treadmill. Jenny caring for me.

Then lunch at the Cuban Coffee Queen. Cheese toast and cold Cuban coffee. Read the newspapers.

I enjoy sitting at the Queen doing nothing.

Headed to Aqua’s Back Door Bar early in the evening. Mark Watson time. Mark had told me Donna and Terri would be there. I have not seen them since they returned.

The door to the Back Bar was locked. Mark had cancelled because of the rain. What rain? A few drops here and there on occasion.

Instead, I had a drink at the inside bar.

The bartender made an interesting observation. He enjoys old silent films. I can’t stand them. He told us about a very risque 1927 silent film he had watched the evening before. Risque permissible because there was not a morality code in effect yet.

Nancy came in. I made a new friend.

Nancy is retired military. Headed straight to Key West the day after she severed from the service. Knew this is where she wanted to live. Lives here with her wife. Not sure when they married.

Nancy has a PhD. Works part time in Key West as a consultant for non profits.

I liked Nancy. Good company. Hope we see each other again soon.

Had to eat. Duffy’s at the bar. Prime rib, as usual.

Saw a disappointing thing at Duffy’s. Actually, sad. A man had ordered a Maine lobster. I assume a tourist.

It was obvious he had never eaten a Maine lobster before. He did not know how to eat it. He used his fork and knife constantly. Never pulled the claws off or removed the tail. Salt and pepper frequently. never saw him dunk the poorly ripped out meat in butter.

I am not being critical of the man nor the way he attacked the lobster. I am being critical of his waitress or someone from Duffy’s. No one helped him, gave him any advice, etc.

Along the way yesterday, I heard some Johnny Cash. A line from Folsom Prison Blues attracted me. I swiftly wrote it down. “I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die.”

Cash was a long time ago. His yesterday our today. Drugs and crime rampant. Many killed daily for the fun and thrill of it. Nothing has changed, except perhaps for the number of persons killed.

I have been talking about Venezuela for four years. Since the country first ran out of toilet paper. Now, it is food.

I read yesterday that 500 hundred people had looted a food warehouse. The article further stated that the same day, 5,000 had raided a super market.

This morning, I saw a video on the internet. Venezuelan adults and children looking for food in trash cans.

As I have said consistently over the four years, I do not know why the people do not revolt against their President Nicholas Maduro. He is a lot like Fidel Castro in days gone by. Blames the United States for all his problems. Including telling the people on several occasions we were preparing to invade Venezuela.

Enjoy your day!