STONE CRABS

Last night, the meal of meals. Stone crabs!

The season opened sunday. It was my first stone crab meal of the season.

Enjoyed with another stone crab enthusiast, Jean Thornton. My great host from Birmingham who sheltered me and several others during Irma.

Jean crazy for stone crabs, also.

We dined at the Conch Republic. My idea. Stone crabs were great there last season.

The stone crabs tasty. Large.

Two complaints. The shells not broken enough and the mustard sauce a blob. We could not eat it. Stuck with melted butter.

Did not spoil the joy of the meal, however.

Priced $44 a pound. Cheap! I expected $60, perhaps even $70. Irma destroyed better than half the traps. I suspect the low price is because there still are not enough customers. Conch Republic half filled last night.

During dinner, Jean tells me she heard stone crabs were $26 a pound at the Pier House’s Pier One. No way! Never that cheap anywhere over the years!

I stopped at Pier One on my way to the Chart Room after dinner. A cute young Philippine hostess told me yes, $26 a pound. Six. Medium.

In the next couple of nights, I will be at Pier One enjoying.

The Chart Room was packed. Tourists galore. A good sign. I am concerned how successful Fantasy Fest will be. My thought is the powers to be should have adjourned it several weeks.

John bartending. Smiling big time. He was going to have a big night tip wise. It has been a long time.

David there. We chatted a while.

Jean, Molly, Ollie and I sat at the round table.

Molly is Kevin’s wife. Kevin on business in Boston till wednesday.

Ollie entertained us with his testicle burial story. A true one. The ladies thought it interesting. The first time they had heard it.

I told the group about Jenny who had a mastectomy and no nipple on the replacement. She intends to have the sunset of Key West tattooed where the nipple would have been.

No one believed me. I felt like an ass.

It was haircut time earlier in the day with Lori. Told her about the nipple/tattoo story. She was very familiar with it. Said many women have it done that way these days.

In a year if I run into Jenny again, I may have to ask her to show the unbelievers her Key West sunset.

After my haircut earlier in the day, shot over to Lee Nails. A manicure with Tammy. Told Tammy about Irma and Me. She was all excited.

We got into reading. Tammy is a successful business woman at 34. She and husband Rick have a booming nail business.

Tammy cannot read.

I was surprised. She was schooled in Vietnam. Not in English, however. Her 11 year old son reads to her if there is something at home she must read.

Terri’s first major milestone reached! God bless!

They have been shooting her big time every day with something to increase her stem cell supply. In order for the bone marrow transplant to begin, she had to have 4 million new stem cells. Tested yesterday. 4.5 million!

Tuesday, the transplant procedure begins. Monday going to be difficult. She will be given a massive dose of chemo. The most ever at one time. Terri has already been warned she will be sick sick! Vomiting, diarrhea, the works, big time.

She’s ready. Ready for everything.

A post Irma update.

The canals are filled with debris. Not just trees. Demolished houses and trailers. Broken boats.

The County passed the necessary legislation yesterday permitting FEMA and other agencies to begin a clean up of the canals.

William Hackley 1856 finds him up earlier every morning recently. Around 4. Out hunting. Appears that was how meat and fowl for the dinner table were obtained back then.

Syracuse enjoyed a major win last week. Beat #2 Clemson. Tomorrow, Syracuse plays Miami. Ranked #8 nationally. Can it happen again? I doubt it. But hope so!

Miami a 16 point favorite.

John Kelly’s press conference yesterday disappointed me. The man a distinguished former Marine general. Well respected. Now Trump’s Chief of Staff. His words re the telephone call and the behavior of the Florida Congresswoman did not ring true with me. Trump has a way of taking good people and somehow making them do what he wants. The good people eventually tarnished by Trump.

I think Kelly was used yesterday.

Let’s see what happens down the road.

Fantasy Fest begins today. Goombay!

Doing it with Joni who I met last week at Antonia’s.

I am beginning to feel like an overdue pregnant woman. Waiting for Irma and Me to be published. Any day now.

Enjoy your day!

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AFGHANISTAN

Yes, it is Happy Birthday Afghanistan! Sixteen years ago, the United States invaded Afghanistan. The war has turned out to be the longest in U.S. history.

No end in sight. Getting worse.

Thousands of American dead. Thousands more maimed.

Civilian deaths increasing.

Death rate of children is up 9 percent from 2016. Women, 23 percent.

From 2015-2016, opium production up 43 percent. The war, graft, and money responsible.

Sixteen years ago, the number of opium poppy fields was low. The Taliban were anti-opium production and had forced production to be dramatically reduced.

Then came the U.S. invasion. The invasion the major reason for the substantial rise in production. The Taliban were defeated. Today, Afghanistan provides 90 percent of the world’s opium supply.

I have written and said the past few years how interesting it is that with all the warring and battles going on in Afghanistan, not one poppy field has been destroyed. Our people die. Afghans, also. The poppy fields and those working them, not.

The reason is simple. Washington mandates their protection. Called politics. Our Marines serving in Afghanistan are guarding the poppy fields.

Many Afghans are dependent on poppy work for their livelihoods. They live better than those not involved who are indiscriminately being killed.

There is a fear in Washington that if the poppy fields were destroyed, the people supporting the U.S. would turn against us. Instead of eradication, the U.S. supports a change in what is grown. The U.S. has a program of teaching Afghans how to grow other things such as wheat and corn.

Not smart. For one simple reason. There is not the same monies to be made off wheat and corn. Poppy much more profitable. Significantly so.

The Marines know it. They take their orders from Washington, however. No matter how you view it, Washington is pursuing a path that will not lead to eliminating the poppy fields.

With all the money being made, there has to be some changing hands. Who, how, when, where, I do not know. However you do not have to be a genius to recognize it has to be a fact.

Poppy becomes opium. Opium, heroin. Heroin rampant on the streets of the United States. Killing many every day.

Overdosing has resulted in a tsunami of bodies. Opioids a crisis. Trump campaigned that opioids were a crisis and he would deal with it as such when elected. He appointed a Commission immediately to study and report back with recommendations for him. The Commission did. It said opioids were a crisis and the U.S. should pursue it as such.

Trump declined to do so. He changed his position. He claimed it was not a crisis and could be dealt with effectively on a non-crisis basis.

In the meantime, the medical field claims opioids constitute the worst epidemic in drug history. Medical examiners/coroners cannot keep up with the number of bodies to be autopsied. Many are leaving the field.

In 2016, there were 64,000 overdose deaths. Bodies awaiting autopsy are backing up. Cold storage trailers are being used to hold bodies awaiting autopsy. Some medical examiners are requiring those delivering the bodies to find another place for them till they are ready to perform the autopsy.

Such is the story of Afghanistan on this the 16th year of the war. A terrible evolution. No resolution in sight.

I wanted to watch Syracuse/Pitt yesterday afternoon. Stayed home to watch it from the comfort of the couch. The game was not available via Comcast on any channel. Sad because Syracuse won. 27-24. I would have enjoyed watching my team win.

The Chart Room first last night. David, Shaun, and Kevin. Met Ray. Visiting from Cape Coral. Comes down several times a year.

NRA and politics topics of discussion. No one yelled at anyone. Kevin behaved himself.

Stopped at La Te Da for a bite to eat afterwards.

A post Irma report.

Progress being made. However, slowly. Too much debris and too much damage. Everyone busting their ass. Recovery will take time.

Some places not open yet. Others advising they will not be open for Fantasy Fest. The list long of those who will be open by Fantasy fest and those that will not. Included are 2 Cents, Virgilio’s, Better Than Sex, Regal Cinema, Burger King, and the Yamaha dealership.

Molly died. Molly the dolphin. Fifty plus years old. The matriarch at the Dolphin Research Center.

Molly is believed to have been the oldest living dolphin in captivity.

In her senior years, Molly took to watching over the new born. In grandmotherly fashion. Helping to raise them, teaching them.

Happy birthday to William Hackley. He turned 50 on October 7, 1856.

Robots keep coming! Used in one business today, another the next.

The newest robot is Sally the Salad Robot. Sally’s sole function is to serve as a salad bar of sorts. Apparently, a Sally is needed. Salad bars are magnets for bacteria and viruses.

A Silicon Valley company called Chowbotics manufacturing Sally robots.

Neo-Nazis have returned to Charlottesville for the third time since the August 12 confrontation. Quick visits by a small group. In and out. Led by Richard Spencer, an alt-right leader and founder.

The Mayor said, “You’re not welcome here! Go home!”

The neo-Nazis chant during their visits: “You will not replace us. You will not erase us. / “We’re back and we’re going to keep coming back.” / “Get used to the alt-right. You’re going to have to get used to white identity.”

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

MOTEL PRICE WAR…..1955 STYLE

This morning’s edition of the Key West Citizen reported a rather unique occurrence.

On this day in 1955, there was a motel price war in Key West. Things very competitive back then. Eight motels offered free rooms to tourists.

Never again and never more.

Speaking of the Citizen, I was glad to read in this morning’s edition that beginning October 7 the Citizen would be run as a daily. I assume this means every day. Not twice a week as was recently reported.

The talk on the street clearly indicates how unhappy the public was to learn the Citizen was cutting back to two times a week. You do not miss something until it is lost to you.

Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. My podcast show. Aired last night for the first time in four weeks. An Irma disruption.

It felt good to do the show again. Hope you enjoyed it.

I had trouble hooking up with the station. Some technical difficulty. I got on with 5 seconds to go. I experienced a rush of adrenalin!

Someone commented she could not hear the audio last night, but was able to do so this morning in the archived version. Did any one else have the problem of no audio last night? If so, please let me know.

Mentioned yesterday my car battery was dead outside Denny’s monday night. Had it charged and drove home. Went to start the car yesterday. Dead again! Battery was tested. It has a bad cell.

Car sitting outside dead. No use.

Difficult to get a Volkswagen Beetle battery locally. Must come from Miami. Takes a week.

Finally found some one locally who had the necessary battery. He is stopping by at 2 to install it.

I have mentioned in the past the Justice Building Blog. Excellent!

Permit me to share a comment contained in the Blog’s 9/26/17 publication. Concerned Trump and people who work for him.

“All it takes for evil to prevail is for good people to remain silent and do nothing…..Evil cannot exist without the silence and compliance of good people.”

Trump’s election opened the door to nuts successfully running for office. Yesterday, Roy Moore won the Republican primary in Alabama. You are aware of his background. A radical thinker. Does not seem to believe in the Constitution. Lost his judgeship two times for not adhering to the law.

He may win the election in November. He will neither dance to Trump’s tune or anyone else’s. The Senate will be a crazy place.

Moore’s election following Trump’s is going to encourage other radical/defectivess to run. In today’s society, most will win.

Where is our country going? What is happening? Why?

An Irma update. Post Irma happenings.

Schooner Wharf is throwing a Thank You BBQ party tonight. Five to 9. For first responders, relief workers, and locals. Those who answered Key West’s call for help.

Food free.

Debris everywhere. Extensive clean up underway. Takes a while. In the meantime, the debris is beginning to smell. The smell not nice.

Lobster fishermen are taking a beating big time as a result of Irma.

Lobster fishermen in this area put down 1,000 to 5,000 traps. The fishermen I am referring to the ones who work in the Atlantic off the Middle Keys. Irma took most of the traps. They are nowhere to be found.

Some of the fishermen lost their boats also. One referred to Irma as “…..the storm of the century for us.”

Cudjoe took some hit. Some say Irma hit heaviest at Cudjoe.

Cudjoe’s clean up will be long. An odor permeates the Key. Not from debris. Sewage. One canal appears to have become a total drain for sewage.

We are two weeks post Irma. People still in need. Especially food and clothes.

Star of Sea opened a distribution center at Key Plaza. The lines of people waiting to get in continue to be long. As many as 50 persons on occasion.

Help comes in many forms and from distant places. Help not expected, but welcomed.

The Red Cross has established a base camp on Big Pine. It houses 80 disaster relief workers and volunteers. The base camp was brought to Big Pine and assembled by Red Cross volunteers from Copenhagen, Denmark. The Danish workers remain and continue to help.

God bless them!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

SYLVANUS JOHNSON…..AFRICAN AMERICAN TREATMENT YESTERDAY AND TODAY

A story of white man’s justice as regards blacks in 1897.

The event took place in Key West. Representative of justice at the time for people of color throughout the South.

It was June 1897. Sylvanus Johnson resided in Key West. An African-American. A United States citizen. Johnson was accused of raping a white woman.

He was brought to trial immediately. The rape charge a capital crime. Death the expected sentence, if convicted.

Johnson was assigned counsel. He could not afford one on his own. A kangaroo court and an all white jury decided his fate. The judge a good old boy. He would not permit Johnson’s attorney to cross examine witnesses.

A lynch mob formed during the trial. Daytime outside the court house. Night time, outside the jail. The mob wanted white man’s justice immediately. Hang him!

Blacks formed outside the court house by day and jail by night to protect Johnson.

A confrontation.

The Sheriff panicked. Stood his ground, but knew he needed help to keep Johnson safe from the lynch mob. Asked the Governor for assistance. The Governor viewed the situation as a black insurrection. He immediately asked President McKinley for federal troops. McKinley considered the matter not worthy of assistance.

A local reporter described the African-Americans as a “tough negro element.” Portrayed them as troublemakers.

Johnson was convicted. Took the jury one hour forty minutes.

When the verdict was announced, Johnson turned to the jury and said, “If God was black and came before this jury you would find him guilty. You may take my black body, but you cannot harm my innocent soul.”

Johnson was hung within a matter of days.

There is a reason why I recall the Johnson story. It has to do with Irma and retrospectively Katrina.

African-Americans have come a long way since Johnson’s days. Not far enough, however. They have equality in name. Not in fact.

FEMA had tents erected in the public parking area behind the Key West fire station on Simonton. A place for people to seek and receive governmental assistance. I noted the people applying were all persons of color. Tan. Blacks, Cubans, etc. No whites.

Saturday evening, I drove down Duval. Somewhere in the middle of Duval was a FEMA truck. It was handing out food packages. All the people waiting for the packages were black. No tans,  no whites.

Katrina had similarities. Blacks ended up in the huge sports arena. Nary a white.

My point is African-Americans and other persons of color have come a long way since 1897. Not enough, however. Equality and opportunity not yet fully theirs.

How much longer must these people wait?

Understand what I have written here and you will understand why we continue to have turmoil in the streets involving blacks and whites.

There was a concert in Mallory Square over the weekend. A locals event. To celebrate survival and exhibit the community will come back. A huge crowd in attendance whooping it up in Key West fashion.

My yesterday quiet. Worked with Sloan in the morning. Under the weather the rest of the day. Heavy sweating and a runny nose. Stayed in bed. This morning, I feel fine.

Comcast has finally completed its responsibilities. Late last night, I got back wi-fi and hard line.

Like being reborn! Computer, wi-fi and hard line all at one time!

Consistent with most positions he takes, Trump is totally off base as regards the NFL. He fails to realize that freedom of speech includes spitting, urinating, defecating, burning, and dragging through he dirt the American flag. Constitutionally guaranteed free speech.

The United States has survived over 200 years recognizing the right.

Trump understands neither the history of this country or the Constitution. He prefers standing before a huge American flag Patton style denouncing the NFL and its players. Shouting words he is most famous for…..You’re fired!

I feel good this blog has returned to normalcy. Irma is behind us, except for recovery.

Tonight Louis will be at Aqua for Dueling Bartenders. I suspect many others will also.

Enjoy your day!

IRMA AFTERMATH

Irma came, did her thing, and left. She left behind ruination, despair and hope.

How things stand today.

I drove down Duval yesterday. From the Gulf to the Atlantic. Not a pretty sight. Most storefronts and buildings still boarded. Physical damage on a varying scale to some buildings.

The most significant observation was the desolation. Few on the street. Very few. Like death had visited.

The bars are starting to open. Rick’s, Sloppy Joe’s, Irish Kevin’s, the Bull, and Jack Flats. More employees than customers. Except for the gay bars in mid Duval. Bourbon Street and 801. Packed.

There was a FEMA truck on Duval. Handing out food packages. Only the minority community evident.

I mentioned the FEMA sign up tents behind the Simonton fire station yesterday. Only minorities evident there. It appears we have left racial/ethnic groups behind. Same as Katrina. Not in assistance today. Rather in becoming part of the American dream.

A cruise ship coming in today. Why? Key West today not the Key West of yesterday. Key West needs time to recuperate. Downtown looks like hell.

Three more cruise ships expected this week.

Some say we have to get business going again. Bring the cruise ships in! Locals need to work. Rent is due the first of the month. Only one week away.

I spent yesterday afternoon resting. Actually, sleeping. The return drive killed me. Just as the drive to Birmingham had. My 82 years very evident in the tiredness I am experiencing.

Hit the Chart Room first last night. First time the Chart Room has been open since Irma.

I was the sixth person to arrive. An hour later when I left, I was the only customer remaining.

Shawn bartending.

Peter Petro manages 40 properties. One is the home I live in. I have been bugging the man ever since Irma was on the horizon. Even now since I have returned. Cleanup time. I am a tenant, not an owner. A wonderful experience!

Peter does his job well, even though I am a bit too anxious at times.

Peter was at the Chart Room when I arrived. With his wife Rebecca who I met for the first time. A nice lady.

Rebecca marries people in Key West. She is a Notary and notaries are permitted to do so. In fact, most marriages performed in Key West are by a Notary such as Rebecca. Rebecca also performs live theater at the Red Barn. She is featured in a show opening next month.

Then to Don’s Place to watch the Syracuse/LSU game. Don, David, Stan and Claire there.

Sitting next to me watching the game were Troy and Jenny. Troy a die hard Michigan fan. He was watching Michigan on one screen as I was watching Syracuse on the one next to it.

Syracuse looked good the first half. Gave up 10 points they should not have. Still in the game, however. Syracuse defense played well.

LSU got another touchdown at the beginning of the second half. Syracuse was basically 3 touchdowns behind. I viewed it as the beginning of the end. Went home to bed.

Never even tried to find out the final score till this morning. Syracuse came back. Sort of. Final score had LSU winning 35-26. A late 4th quarter LSU touchdown led to LSU’s 35 points.

Syracuse was a 23 point underdog going into the game. Syracuse played well. They did better than LSU stat wise. Note LSU was a ranked team going into the game.

This is not going to be a Syracuse year. Better than most in recent years I suspect. Perhaps glory will return a few years from now. It has been a long time.

Yesterday was the first day Don’s was open its full hours.

Ice is a problem all over town. Bar owners and restaurants are running all over looking for some to buy.

Our animal and fish friends are of concern also.

A Sugarloaf homeowner was looking out his window. Thought he saw a porpoise stranded in the mangroves. Called the Sheriff’s Office, who in turn contacted Wildlife Conservation and the dolphin hospital Dolphin Plus.

Representatives of all three groups hurried to the scene and effected a rescue. Two veterinarians involved. They waded out to the porpoise. A female. Slightly burned from the sun. Otherwise, ok. Carried her to deeper water and let her go.

I received a red flag call this morning from Jeanne H. Stevenson. Not a Key Wester. Her sister Anne is, however. She can’t reach Anne. Concerned. Wants to know if I could help.

Anne sells newspapers outside the church. All I was told about her.

Anyone having any information re Anne, please let me know so I can convey it on to her sister.

Key West’s curfew was lifted yesterday. Stay out all night folks!

The remainder of the Keys still have curfews.

Comcast making progress. A step at a time. Too little from my perspective. I had TV when I returned home last night. Still no land line or wi-fi.

Sloan due soon. A ton of catch up work to do.

Enjoy your Sunday!

GOOD TO BE BACK AGAIN

Stealing from Mac Arthur…..I have returned! Gene Autry…..I’m back in the saddle again!

It is good to be home.

I got in at 4 thursday afternoon after two days of driving. Birmingham to Key West. Eight hours each day.

No question, a few days does make a difference. Specifically with regard to traffic. Little traffic. Very little. Only spots crowded were Orlando and Miami. I used the Florida Turnpike.

No waiting in line for gasoline. Pumps available at all times.

The second day was depressing, however.

I spent all day listening to the radio re the Mexican school collapse and the search for Frida Sophia and perhaps several other children. Drama! Heart wrenching!

Yesterday, we were told by Mexican authorities that there was no Frida or any other children beneath the wreckage. Alive or dead. The situation “not a reality.”

There has to be more to the story. Does not make sense to me.

The search for the children weighed heavy. To it was added another sadness. I saw what Irma did to the Keys.

Beginning with Florida City, a relatively small tree down here and there. Just outside Marathon, you could sense things were going to get bad. They did.

Beginning at the Marathon point and down to Sugarloaf, everything got consistently worse. Debris piled on the side of US 1. Furniture and mattresses. Refrigerators. Boats upside down. Cars on their sides. Roofs off. Buildings down.

Big Pine, an absolute disaster. It was as if King Kong had stomped all over it.

Summerland, Cudjoe and Sugarloaf hit badly, also.

I had been informed I would see many refrigerators. Apparently they fly through the air with the greatest of ease. I even saw one in a tree. A big one. About 15 feet up, laying sideways on a couple of big branches.

The damage itself was too much to take. Coupled with the little girl under the Mexican school, both scearios combined too much to take. Tears were actually slowly rolling down my cheeks at one point.

Key West was a different story. Damage, yes. A roof gone here and there. Most signs blown through. Trees the real problem. Toppled. Size immaterial. Big and little ones.

My new home is in an area covered with large trees. A cathedral type appearance over the streets.

No more. I was shocked! at least half the trees down. The roads one lane. Piled debris on road side heavy.

My new home survived. No damage. Except for a big tree in front and 5 little ones (20 footers) in the back.

I thought I was returning to full services. No Comcast television, computer and landline. All three I discovered have been off since September 7. One day after I left, three days before Irma hit.

Comcast no help. Comcast’s attitude always the same. Don’t care/don’t bother me.

I called to ask when I would get service. The operator did not know. Asked if I was aware there had been a hurricane.

I am getting wi-fi from my cell phone. A special app. Extra cost.

I went out thursday night. Duval Street a ghost town. Places still boarded. No one on the street.

Met up with John, Kevin and Molly at Bourbon Street. Very few bars open. Food, forget it!

On the way home, I stopped at the Marriott Beachside. Asked for a menu. No food! Enjoyed a drink, met some nice folks who live on the golf course, also.

Yesterday a busy one. Up early. Stopped at Verizon and Publix. Only one Publix open. Customers looked sad. Heads down, asses dragging. A remnant of Irma?

Also got a haircut, manicure and pedicure.

I was energized all day. Assume it must have been the time I spent at Jean and Joe’s. Restful.

Dinner last night with Don and David at Pepi’s. One of the few restaurants open. They were only serving off the luncheon menu and did not have all of the items listed. I enjoyed a huge cheeseburger.

The tree in the center of the outside dining room did fall. Big time! Never more to stand. Destroyed part of the roof portion. The roots pulled up half the concrete floor.

One thing bothered me. The FEMA presence in the parking lot on Simonton behind the fire station. Two huge white tents. took up 2/3’s of the parking. Roped off. A couple of hundred people going in and out of the tents signing up for FEMA. Mostly Bahama Village residents. Everyone happy.

What bothered me were the two Homeland Security guards/officers. Uniformed. Never saw one before.

Tall, thin, crew cut hair, blue uniforms and guns on the hips. Reminded me of the neo-Nazis in Greece I have written about many times.

Their appearance bothered me. I asked myself why does this agency need its own military force.

A fire yesterday. 717 Duval. Reported flames engulfed the building. Fire Department got the fire under control. the building housed a tattoo shop.

Food is a problem. There is  scarcity. Monroe County announced free breakfasts and lunches to all school children till October 25.

I compliment Senator Mc Cain on his Obamacare stand.

Two observations.

Google maps. First time I ever used the service. Off my cell phone. Where have I been? Wow!

The Key West Citizen. Could be the beginning of the end. The Citizen is downsizing. Henceforth the Citizen will produce only two editions a week. A weekend edition on saturday. another edition on wednesday. The Citizen will also soon be moving its operation to Miami.

Sad. A Key West tradition.

Syracuse/LSU tonight. LSU favored by 23 points. Would like to watch the game, never the less. Jack Flats still closed. Might watch at Don’s Place.

I will be doing my Key West Lou Live video on Facebook later this afternoon. A quick few minutes. Interesting dialogue.

Enjoy your day!

 

DACA AND IRMA

Two items of grave concern. Immediate grave concern.

The first is DACA. Trump will advise his decision tomorrow. His decision re Dreamers. Eight hundred thousand in number per official records. Another million unrecorded.

Trump’s decision will reflect the nature of his heart. His humanity.

One way or another, he is going to throw them out. Either directly by his own action, or he will pass the buck to Congress to make a decision within six months or out they go.

Passing final judgment to Congress a joke. Congress has been unable to decide much of anything in recent times in six months.

Till Trump’s election, the United States was not the type of nation that would throw Dreamers out. Stalin and Hitler would (or have them killed). Not our cup of tea.

Irma. I fear it may be knocking on Key West’s door sunday or monday. As a category 4 hurricane. Meteorologists say too soon to tell. However, the tracking lines they issue say yes.

Scary.

Till 3 yesterday, busy.

Up at 6 to get yesterday’s blog out. Sloan at 10. A few hours needed attention to some matters.

One of the problems involved my cellphone and Key West Lou Live. the video show I do daily on Facebook.

There has been no live video the past few days. The reason being I could not get a clear picture during the last two videos. Cloudy.

Figured it had to be the phone. Sloan played with it. Not the phone. She thought it was the sunlight behind me. I said no. I have done 30 plus videos from the spot and the sun was never a problem.

Took the phone to Verizon in Winn-Dixie. Great people!

The sun the problem. I said no and explained the other videos being ok. Verizon showed me that previous videos were made during late afternoon. The two that were foggy early afternoon. The sun light created the difference.

Live and learn! Yes, I e-mailed Sloan and told her she was correct.

Then to Publix. Quiet. Unusual. Sunday afternoons generally busy.

Got home at 3. I still had to take the water pill and lie down for 3 hours. Meant no Hot Dog Church for me.

The Duval Loop bus seems to be doing well. I suspect it will change Duval crawling. Instead of going to the bar next door, revelers will now be able to hit and miss as they so desire. Go from Sloppy Joe’s to 801, for example.

William Hackley. I have always suspected he was probably a Confederate. His diary is for the year 1856 so it was impossible to ascertain.

I did some digging. Hackley was a Yankee through and through.

He and his family moved to Washington, DC and resided there from 1863-1865 while Hackley worked in the Treasury Department. Following the Civil War, Hackley continued to work for the U.S. Treasury in another capacity. He was put in charge of Confederate State cotton through 1866.

Hackley makes mention in this day’s writing that his wife Matilda payed Mrs. Tift for goods bought for her.

Mrs. Tift Mrs. Asa Tift. I wrote about Asa last week. Asa built the Hemingway House in 1851. Owned 14 slaves at the time. Had the 14 slaves build it.

Asa’s bust also sits in the special memorial next to Mallory Square honoring prominent Key Westers over the years.

I suggested if present day political correctness was to prevail, the Hemingway House and Asa’s bust should be torn down. The House written with tongue in cheek.

In researching Mrs. Tift this morning, I discovered Asa was a big Confederate supporter. He and his brothers financed the construction of a vessel for the Confederacy. When Lee surrendered, Asa and one of his brothers blew the vessel up rather than let it fall into the hands of the Union.

Asa’s bust must definitely come down. On reconsideration, perhaps even the Hemingway House.

The stupidity of it all!

As most of you know, my thinking has come full circle. Leave all these monuments, statues, etc. alone. Tearing down something does not change history. History is what it is. Good, bad or indifferent.

Enjoy your day!

MADMEN BOTH…..NUCLEAR APOCALYPSE

Two madmen facing off against each other. Not caring about their people. Caring about their images. Ready to blow up the world.

A nuclear apocalypse in the making.

God help us!

At first I thought it was Kim Jung Un playing his usual game. Not at all. Donald Trump has welcomed the challenge. The bravado that goes with it.

Instead of calm diplomacy, Trump adds fuel to the fire daily. Terms like…..Fired and ready…..Locked and loaded.

Face is especially important in the Far East. Jung Un is being backed into a corner.

Trump in the meantime is in all his glory. Watching him on television yesterday, he was on a high. On the biggest stage in the world. He has thrown the gauntlet down. Telling Jung Un in effect…..Don’t screw with me!

If nuclear war occurs, I can see Trump and Jung Un at the end. Each sitting on top of massive death and destruction in their respective countries. Each thinking as Jack Horner once said…..Oh, what a good boy am I!

My yesterday began pleasantly. As was the whole day. A haircut with Lori.

Then to Lisa’s to pick up Robert and Ally for an afternoon with Poppa.

I walked in. Everyone looked at me strangely. Robert and Ally had friends in. I saw Robert eating a sandwich. Why are you eating? We are going out for lunch?

Yes, we are going out for lunch. Not yesterday, however. Saturday. I screwed up. It happens at my age.

Last night the Chart Room. A unique time.

At some point the Chart Room was empty. Just David, John and Louis. For about 45 minutes. The silence overwhelming.

David and I sat at the round table. Enjoyed a terrific conversation. No background noises bothering us. Not enough booze imbibed to affect our thought processes.

It was great! David a thinker. Knowledgeable.

Then to Tavern ‘n Town for the 9-11 Happy Hour. Read the newspapers and enjoyed a light snack.

Jenna called me before I went out last night. We were to go out tonight together. She cancelled. She has a shoot in Fort Lauderdale and is leaving tonight.

She loves me no more!

We agreed we would get together next week.

Donna had telephoned before Jenna. Asked if I wanted to join my lesbian wives tonight. Said, no. Going to dinner with Jenna. Ten minutes later I was on the phone asking Donna if I could join she and Terri tonight.

My dates this evening, the wives! A fundraiser first at Bottle Cap. Then dinner somewhere.

Tom Luna. The best of the best. A good guy. A fixture at Aqua for years. He is leaving. Going to bartend at The Marker wednesday, thursday and fridays from 3-7. He will continue monday nights at Aqua for Dueling Bartenders.

Joanie. Painter Joanie. Bocce Joanie. Don’s Place Joanie.

I mentioned she was sick and at Kendall Hospital in Miami.

Joanie has been diagnosed. Stage 4 liver cancer.

Pray for her!

Key West has been reading William Hackley daily the past couple of years. Thanks to the Key West Citizen that is running excerpts from his diary.

I have suspected Hackley rented slaves. Not an owner. I also suspected Hackley was a good guy. No more.

He mentions in a diary entry this date in 1856 that he whipped Spring. Never heard of Spring before. Whipped him to make him obey.

Spring skipped away and ran home. When he returned, Hackley chained him and “whipped him well.”

Spring has to be either a slave or a dog. Whipping in neither instance acceptable. Hackley no longer held in the high esteem by me.

Finally, David Wolkowsky recognition. On this day in 1968, David opened the Pier House Motel. Today the site of the Pier House Resort. Big trees from little acorns grow.

David juvinated that end of Duval. He rejuvenated other areas of Key West. The Key West we know would not have been without him.

Enjoy your day!

EMILY

Emily was the Keys’ first dance partner of the season. There had been four others. However, of no consequence. Hurricane season is upon us.

Emily was a tropical depression yesterday morning in the Gulf 50 miles off Tampa. She hit as a tropical storm, however. A step up from a depression. Ran across the Florida peninsula. Dissipating as it left.

Brought with it 6-8 inches of rain and winds 45 miles per hour.

I assume the rain Key West received yesterday afternoon and last night represented the fringes of Emily. Rained extremely heavy in Key West. Hurricane rain without wind.

My podcast tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. Join me. Interesting material. A fast paced half hour. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

I worked on the show yesterday afternoon. For some reason, I have a multitude of items to discuss. Will never cover all of them.

My plan is to open with a lengthy report re prison labor. Inmates are the new American slavery. Followed by a Venezuela update, a jury finding Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio guilty of criminal contempt, Trump writing son Don’s release re the famous meeting, Scaramucci gone crazy and gone.

Robots continue to be big. Expanding into all areas. Now, sex.

An Austrian company is selling robots for sex purposes. Spain has two brothels providing services only in the brothels. $80-100 per hour. Customer comments suggest the robots better than the real thing.

A bank in Sweden is using robots to deal with customer problems, opening new accounts, etc. Cheaper than paying a human being.

Both robot situations will be discussed this evening.

Time permitting, I want to touch on millennials still living at home with their parents. A study looked at 18-34 year olds. One third are living with their parents. A shocking number.

While I was preparing for tonight’s show, Terri was putting my new desk chair together. Terri is fantastic! Got right to it. Put the chair together step by step. I was impressed.

I am also impressed by the chair. Leather and huge. Made for an extra tall person. All kinds of special buttons. Cheaper to purchase than the one it replaced. I bought the previous one at Office Max. Fell apart in a year. The new one purchased over the internet through Amazon. Fifty dollars cheaper and much better quality.

A 5 o’clock visit with Dr. McIvor. The best of the best! A great staff supporting him. Heart good. No changes. Something else? More blood work next week.

I continue to be tired. Close to exhaustion on occasion. Climbing stairs leaves me breathless. My blood pressure at the Doctor’s top side was 186.

Oh, well!

I said screw it. Instead of going home went to Aqua for Dueling Bartenders. Bobby Nesbitt joined Tom Luna and Rick Dery. Terrific!

Yes, I had a couple of drinks.

Locals night at Aqua. Friend Liz and Josefina. Jean Thornton. Her husband Joe back in Birmingham having been diagnosed with shingles.

I periodically refer to Jean as the Golden Girl. Back around 1996, she discovered gold and emeralds while diving with Mel Fisher. A teacher friend from Birmingham was with her. Debbie. They discovered the booty at the same time.

Together, referred to as the Golden Girls.

Debbie visits Key West once a year. Her Key West visit this week.. We talked a while last night. Charming. Too bad she does not spend more time in Key West. She would be a welcome addition to our community.

A fellow at the bar stopped me. Reads the blog. Wanted to tell me he was from Utica. Utica, Illinois.

Stopped at Tavern ‘n Town for dinner on the way home.

Another alligator spotted in Key West. Off Northern Boulevard in the water in the Garrison Bight area. A picture of the alligator in this morning’s Key West Citizen. About 5 feet long.

Watch where you swim, friends!

Enjoy your day!

VENEZUELA’S DESCENT INTO HELL

Nicolas Maduro has been President of Venezuela for four years. His Presidency a steady decline to the gates of Hell. First no toilet paper. Then no food. Finally, pets and zoo animals eaten. Along the way, people disappearing or killed.

Today, Venezuela stands at those gates. It is election day. A special election day. Maduro wants to replace Venezuela’s National Assembly and adopt a new Constitution. The new National Assembly will be composed of persons nominated by Maduro. The new Constitution will give him the powers of a dictator.

I have written about Venezuela the four years Maduro has been President. I was intrigued when the nation ran out of toilet paper.

It has bothered me the people never revolted. They protest in huge numbers. In recent weeks, a handful have clashed with Maduro supporters.

Turns out Cuba is behind it all. Yes, our tiny neighbor 90 miles to the south. Cuba is responsible for everything that has been happening in Venezuela.

Cuba is the power. It controls the levers of power. The government and those who support it.

Mary Anastasia O’Grady wrote an excellent opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal’s July 17, 2017 edition. Titled: How Cuba Runs Venezuela.

Cuba has been trying for 50 years to sow its ideological revolution in South America. Concerning Venezuela, it has succeeded.

Cuba needs Venezuela to transport Colombian cocaine to the United States and to Africa to supply Europe. It also relies heavily on cut-rate Venezuelan oil.

Cuba has established a Soviet type hold on Venezuela. Working in Venezuela are 50 high ranking Cuban military officers, 4,500 Cuban soldiers, and 34,000 doctors and health professionals who are there to defend Cuba’s tyranny with arms if necessary.

Thousands of other Cubans hold high level Venezuelan government positions.

The Cubans have toilet paper and eat well.

Similar to Soviet oversight, each Venezuelan military commander has a civilian minder. A person who watches every turn and reports to higher ups any deviation from expected conduct.

I find it amazing how relatively silent the American media has been over the years re Cuba’s influence.

Today’s election is most important. I fear Maduro and his followers will win. Nothing good can come from the victory for the Venezuelan people and the rest of the world.

Last week when Trump lifted our new relationship with Cuba, I thought he was succumbing to that small group of Cubans who had to flee Cuba fifty and more years ago and now reside in Miami. A poor reason I thought.

Now, I wonder if Trump was motivated to show the world he stood against the evils imposed by Cuba upon Venezuela.

Regardless, the Monroe Doctrine has been forgotten.

Yesterday was Saturday. It became my Sunday. My lazy day.

I never left the house. Read, wrote, napped and watched TV.

Hackley’s journal has suggested, at least to me, that Hackley used slaves. Not as an owner. He rented them.

Further indication of Hackley as a lessee is found in his entry of this date in 1856. Hackley speaks of his cook Black Matilda. It was yellow fever time. He wrote she had “some fever and pains in the head.”

Hackley got Black Matilda out of the house immediately. Delivered her to someone else to worry about.

Some generally unaware history concerning Harry Truman. Harry Truman loved Key West and Key West to this day loves Harry Truman.

On this date in 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare into law. He did so at the Truman Library in Independence. Truman was still alive and attended.

Why the Truman Library and in Truman’s presence?

Truman was the first President to propose national health insurance. Congress opposed. He could never get it passed.

Johnson further paid tribute to Truman by enrolling Truman as Medicare’s first beneficiary.

Enjoy your Sunday!