It’s Sunday!

Love Sundays!

A do nothing day! The Good Book was correct when it said it should be a day of rest!

A busy day yesterday.

Did paperwork in the morning. Then lunch at the bar at the Yacht Club. Read the papers and chatted a bit.

I had a Truman deprivation. I had not been to Borders in a few days. So there I went and continued reading the book on Harry Truman’s life. It is an opus! Like War and Peace! Over 1,100 pages long! I am still in Truman’s high school days. Of that, all I can tell you was that he was a good student and in love with Bess Wallace, whom he subsequently married, from a distance. Even then young men were awkward in their pursuit of the ladies.

Stopped at Lisa’s afterwards to see the grandkids. They have recovered from the walking pneumonia. Finally!

At 3, it was over to the bocci courts. The playoffs were starting. Larry Smith’s team had made the playoffs. I went to lend my support.

I only had time to stay for the first game. Larry’s team lost. The other team was very good. Pros. Their throwing was precise. I susupect they were a number 1 team in their evening slot. Larry’s team was number 5 in the Thursday night games.

There were 2 more games to play. But I could not stay.

I had intended on going into town last night. When I got out of the shower, I could heard Howard Livingston singing on the TV. There he was on Channel 5! And I thought there was a runner on the bottom of the picture reading that Howard would be playing at Boondock’s last night.

So I drove north 30 miles to Big Pine and Booondock’s. Howard is a good friend! Love him dearly!

Howard was not playing! I screwed up. He is playing some Saturday in the future.

Oh, well!

It just so happens I like Boondocks. So I sat at the bar, had a few drinks and a snapper sandwich. And talked with people around me. One good thing about the keys is that every one is friendly. You are never alone!

I also watched part of the Cleveland/Orlando basketball game.

Then I headed home intending to watch the end of the game from my bed.

The weather was perfect last night. I put the top down on the convertible for the drive back. There was little traffic. The stars were out. And although I could not see the ocean, I could taste it.

I caught better than half of the second half of the game from my bed. With 4 minutes to go, Orlando was winning by 14 points. Then it happened again! I fell asleep!

Fortunately, I woke at 3 this morning for a bit and caught the last 2 minutes in a rerun on TV. Orlando won by 13.

Orlando’s Dwight Howard looked fantastic! Scored 40 points. Cleveland’s LeBron James did not have a good night. It was the same old story. He cannot do it alone! He needs team mates who can help him!

Today is special! We are celebrating Ally’s 4th birthday!

Her birthday is really tomorrow. But the party is this afternoon. She knows she is getting 2 days to celebrate it! How smart she is so young! How glad I am she can enjoy a doubleheader!

Enjoy your Sunday!

A nice day in the making! Sun up. A cool breeze. Water moving slowly. Not a sound to be heard.

Every day is a nice day lately. The rainy season is starting. Not much yet. Generally in the evening. Soon it will rain a bit every day. About 10 minutes at 1 in the afternoon. Amazing!

The hurricane season is around the corner. Technically, the season begins June 1. It runs through November 1. 12-13 hurricanes are predicted. 3-4 anticipated to be bad. The predictions and projections are the same every year. Some years they are correct, or close to correct. Others, nothing happens. I like nothing!

We all remain concerned.

Last night began as usual with the Chart Room. Drank with Marty and Captain Peter. The last night with both for a while.

Marty is heading north today for two weeks. To Auburn, NY. His wife has an elderly aunt who is moving in with them. So they are are their way to get her and return her to Florida.

Nice of Marty and his wife. They are being good family. Sad for the aunt. She leaves her whole life behind.

Peter is heading to Mexico for a week. To visit his former wife. A good guy! To reach her he has to fly somewhere and then ride a bus for six hours. The heart once moved is never still!

Marty and I had dinner at the bar at Hot Tin Roof. Again, a good meal and a spectacular view!

Marty was tired and left soon after dinner. I stayed around and watched the basketball game on TV. Los Angeles won. Denver is eliminated. It had to be. Los Angeles has been there before. Denver had not. First time Denver had advanced that far in the play offs. It seems a team needs some experience and seasoning to make it. Carmello Anthony and Denver will be back next year. And probably win!

Bocci is still around! The play offs begin this afternoon.

My team did not make it. We were locked solidly in the cellar. Larry Smith’s team did! And I will be there to cheer them on!

Stay healthy! Enjoy the day!

Yesterday was a lazy one for Louis.

I hung around the house all day. Actually, I laid in bed all day! A little TV, some reading and a lot of napping.

Last night started as usual at the Chart Room. I am beginning to feel like a regular. A distinction!

Had a couple of drinks. Chatted with Marty, Captain Peter, Che and Cindy.

Dinner was at Square One. A long time since I have been there. It was good to talk with owner Michael and batender Patrick again. The food was good. As usual! The crowd good, also. Especially for this time of the year.

Then home to bed to watch the basketball game. And again I fell asleep before it ended! One of these nights I am going to last to catch the last 2 minutes of a game. The best part!

I have been receiving comments to my blog lately from someone who calls himself Boss. Turns out to be Bob Marks. An old friend! One I am ashamed to say I have not seen in years.

Bob was an insurance adjuster in Syracuse, NY way back when I was a young lawyer. We became friends. There were several of us. All insurance adjusters, except for me. A wild bunch! Many the night I did not know how my car made the 50 mile trip back from Syracuse to Utica!

As the years moved on, Bob became increasingly successful in the insurance industry. My recollection is that he was with CNA. He ended up becoming a big time executive with them in San Francisco.

Along the way he met Helen. Helen also worked in the insurance industry. She ended up big time, also! She was in charge of all CNA’s asbestos cases regionally or nationwide. A big job! There were millions of such cases.

Both married. Not each other. Both divorced. Both remarried. This time to each other.

They asked me to be their best man. An honor!

The event occurred some 25 odd years ago.

The wedding took place in Portland, Maine. Helen wanted to be married in the same church her parents had married in during World War II.

So to Portland I went! I had never been there before. Nor to Maine.

The wedding took place in the middle of the winter. Cold!

I had a cold when I left and drove to Maine. I arrived in Portland with the cold and left 24 hours later with pneumonia! Not really, but was it cold!

The cold sticks with me. I recall going to a shopping center for some pills to help my cold. This was during a fuel crisis. There was no heat in the shopping center. Neither in the mall areas nor in the stores. Everyone, including the workers, were bundled in heavy coats, hats, gloves and boots.

It was that cold!

The wedding service itself was lovely!

Picture a small Luthern church. Candlelight. Helen dressed in the same maroon suit her mother had worn when she married. Touching and beautiful. So much in love! And still in love a quarter of a century later!

Afterwards there was a dinner party at some old time reaturant. An historical site. For real. The structure housing the restaurant probably went back to the American Revolution.

And cold! The building consisted of only thin clapboards. No insulation. No double walling. No plaster board. Between me the the elements were only the thin clapboards. With spaces in between some of them! So the wind blew in!

A major storm was raging outside! And I with my bad bad cold was sitting at the head table with my back one foot from the clapboard wall!

I thought I would die that night!

The next morning I felt terrible! So sick! I should have returned to Utica as planned. But wise I was not in those days!

Instead I drove to Boston and hopped a plane to Martinique. I figured the sun would straighten me out!

It did!

I went to a Club Med! I spent my days laying on the warm beach watching the topless beauties all around me! If I died, it would not have mattered. I was already in Heaven!

Those were the days!

Bob and Helen, I am glad we are coming together again after all these years. May we enjoy many more together! And yes, I look forward to your Fall visit to Key West! Where no one is ever cold!

I should have watched the sinking of the Vandenberg yesterday! My golf game sucked!

I topped the ball on the front 9 and sliced it on the back nine!

My play on 18 reflected my game yesterday. 18 is a long par 5. After my first 2 hits, I still had not reached the ladies’ tee! My next 2 shots were in the water. That was it! I packed up and went home!

The buzz on the street last night was that the Vandenberg sinking was both exciting and spectacular. Apparently all went well. Boom and the ship went down!

There were many vessels out there to view the occasion. Small and large alike. Sail and power. One person told me it reminded him of the Normandy invasion!

There was a slight delay. A group of turtles were in the area. The blasting/sinking had to wait till they were safely out of the area. Amounted to about a 15 minute delay.

Last night was fun. Donna and Terri took me out to dinner. I have not really spent much time with them in the past 3 weeks.

We had dinner at the Hot Tin Roof. Part of the Ocean Key complex on Mallory Square. A Noble hotel.

The food, service and view were spectacualr! Especially the view. The setting sun, the boats, the people! A wow!

I had a touching experience over the holiday weekend.

On Memorial Day, I was seated in Borders reading the Harry Truman book. A small group of about 6 people came in and over to the seating area where I was. Various ages. All women.

They appeared to be mentally and physically challenged. A nice way of saying handicapped. They were in the charge of a 35ish woman. Who was in total control of the group.

Some took seats around me.

Next to me sat an elderly appearing woman. Tiny and frail. No teeth. She just starred. I smiled. No reaction. Where ever she was, she was. And apparently content.

One of the group wanted to buy a book. She had $20. The book she selected was $27. I was very impressed how the person in charge explained the money difference to her and guided her in seeking out a book she could afford. But always calmly trying to make her understand why she could not have the more expensive book.

The charge woman was obviously a professional and very caring of those under her watch.

One of the women was very attractive. Beautiful! Young. 25-35 I would estimate. Dressed lovely. But then they all were.

This young lady required the use of a walker. Her body was partially malformed. One hand had crooked fingers, one arm sort of swung, a dragging leg. Possibly cerebral palsy.

She sat about 10 feet away from me. The charge person had given her a large book with pictures and words to enjoy. Her head was constantly down as she became engrossed in her reading.

All of a sudden, a young mother and her 5 or 6 year old daughter were between us. The mother was chastising the daughter for running around and misbehaving a bit. The mother then went on to review with her daughter the book the daughter had selected. Mother and daughter talked back and forth for 3-4 minutes. Then they left.

As they walked away, the lovely lady across from me lifted her head. Starring straight ahead, she recited the mother/daughter conversation which had just taken place word for word. I swear, it was that precise! All 3-4 minutes of it!

Then she lowered her head again and returned to her book reading.

She was probably autistic. Reminded me of Dustin Hoffman in that movie he made with Tom Cruise.

The things we see in life! The things I see in Key West!

But more importantly, the things some of us are compelled to experience in life! I hope God does hold each of us in the palm of His hand!

This is a day of consequence for Key West!

One which will be remembered in its history!

The town is excited!

The USS Hoyt S. Vandenberg is being sunk off Key West to create an artificial reef! One for marine life and divers alike to enjoy!

Tourism is the major industry of Key West. It is the only industry! The reef will be a major attraction.

There were Sink the Vandenberg parties all over Key West last night in celebration of the event. Pulic and private parties alike.

The Vandenberg is a proud ship. It is entering what might be described as its third life.

The ship was first commissioned in the midst of World War II. It was named the USS Harry Taylor. It carried soldiers and supplies first to the Pacific. Later across the Atlantic. It served best at the end of World War II when it returned soldiers home from Europe.

It was mothballed in 1958.

Then in 1961 the US Air Force needed a ship to spy on the Russians. It was Cold War time. The Taylor was taken out of mothballs. It was recommissioned and renamed the USS Hoyt S. Vandenberg. It spent much time in the Bering Sea between Alaska and Russia watching over Russia’s activities.

The ship was retired again in 1983.

Two names, two lives. It was time to rest in peace and enjoy that long rest in rusted splendor with all the other vessels that had protected us over the years.

But rest was not to be.

Ten years ago some locals decided that what Key West needed was a new and more vibrant reef. We have a natural one, but time and man have diminished its beauty and effectiveness. It was decided to buy a retired vessel and sink it!

The process had already been tried twice in 2 other places in the world. With success! Fish naturally gravitate to the site and a new reef is developed. A divers’ heaven!

The vessel was found. The Vandenberg. Now 10 years and $8.6 million later, the day has arrived! The feeling of anticipation is similar to a long awaited childbirth.

Explosives have been set. Later this morning they will be exploded. Assuming all goes well, the ship will sink within minutes to the bottom of the sea.

A site has been selected 6.5 miles out. The depth is 140 feet.

Four 4 ton anchors will lock the Vandenberg into position.

The Vandenberg is 522 feet long and 100 feet tall. The top of the ship will rest 40 feet below the surface.

A big day in the making! No question. A major Key West day!

Now for an update on the grandchildren.

I thought they were getting better. They were not. Both now have been diagnosed with walking pneumonia.

Robert is making headway. Ally got worse. The medicines were not working for her.

This has to end soon. Their poor little bodies are taking a beating. Actually, they both look good. And are active. However both continue to run low grade fevers, cough and are tired off and on.

Lisa is staying home the rest of the week to make sure they get proper attention. I have been fired! No, not really. She is being the good mother and doing what must be done.

Today is Wednesday. Golf day!

I have a choice this morning. I can go out on a boat and watch the Vandenberg sink or play golf. Perhaps my head is not in the right place. Golf is my choice! I know that which I enjoy!

Have a good day!

For whatever reason, last night was an unusually good one!

I did nothing special. Started out as usual at the Chart Room. Sat and passed the time away with friends at the round table. Then to La Trattoria with Marty for dinner at the bar. Kathy bartending. A special personality. She recently had to put her dog/best friend of many years down. Sad.

Marty and I talked like two old farts. We were reminiscing of our early New York and Miami days. 1960-1970s. At one point Marty said we were beginning to sound like old men. I said no, not like. We are!

I was home early again to watch the second half of the basketball game. Again, I fell asleep! There is a pattern developing here.

George McGovern visited Key West this past week. He is the former US Senator from South Dakota and the Democratic Presidential candidate in 1972.

He was here to speak at a special event at the Little White House.

An interesting background. Bomber pilot in World War II. 35 missions. College professor. Senator. Presidential candidate. Icon.

He ran very poorly in 1972. Nixon defeated him soundly! I think McGovern only carried one state. He did not even carry his home state.

Interestingly, Nixon soon after came under scrutiny for Watergate and had to resign from office. As McGovern stated while here in Key West, had he, McGovern, been elected, the country would have been sparred the Nixon debacle.

I remember the Mc Govern/Nixon race in 1972. I did not think Mc Govern stood a chance. He was the nominee of the new Democratic Party. The one formed after the Humphrey loss to Nixon in 1968. Humprey, too, never stood a chance. He was nominated in Chicago. Protestors and demonstrators were jammed outside the convention hall. TV carried it all live. Even the brutality of the Chicago police. This was Vietnam time. Everything and everyone was on edge!

Following Humprey’s loss, the Democratic Party developed new rules for how its Presidential candidate was to be picked. It opened the process. Widely I thought. McGovern was the first candidate under the new rules. He paid the price! The country was not yet ready for dramatic change. Or a Presidental candidate chosen by the masses rather than the political bosses.

McGovern was a step too soon.

It is interesting how Key West continuues to attract national figures. It is generally the Little White House and/or Harry Truman that bring them here.

Another nice day in the making. Enjoy!

Good morning! Enjoy the holiday!

I got up early this morning. It was still dark. I decided to take a brisk walk on the ocean at Smather’s Beach.

The sun was just breaking over the horizon as I started the walk. Pretty. There was a cool breeze coming off the Atlantic. By the time I finished my walk, the sun was up and blazing. It was hot! I was soaking wet!

Then drove over to Paradise Cafe to read the papers and have cuban coffee and toast.

There is this elderly gentleman who runs every day on Roosevelt Boulevard. You can’t miss him! He is always attired the same. Fire red shorts and a fire red hat. The hat is like those that priests wear at the Vatican. Round in the center with a long round brim. Actually, the guy looks weird!

He weighs no more than 120 pounds. Probably in excellebt health. The benefit of running.

This morning he was carrying an American flag as he ran. Not a small one. Rather large and attached to a wood pole.

He never missed a step.

Today he did not look out of the ordinary. He was an American! and proud of it!

I had a quiet day yesterday. Hung around the house till dinner time. Then celebrated Lisa and Corey’s sixth wedding anniversary with the two of them and the grandkids. Lisa cooked.

Robert and Ally are on the mend. Corey is now sick with whatever they had. He looked and felt lousy. Lisa is probably next.

I was home early and to bed. I wanted to watch the basketball game.

Instead I got hooked on the PBS show celebrating Memorial Day. Spectacular! Tear jerking!

We have to see our veterans to fully appreciate the sacrifice they are making. The wounds some of them will carry for life speak to that sacrifice and the debt we owe!

I caught the second half of the game.

Lebaron James cannot do it all alone. He scored 41 points and that was not enough to win. Some one else has to step in and help or Cleveland will not be proceeding into the championship series.

Enjoy your cookouts! Enjoy your families and friends!

Our next holiday is all of five weeks off! July 4th!

The sun is starting to sneak in this morning. The tide is out. No breeze to speak of. Calm.

The beginning of another good day in Key West!

It was hot yesterday! Boiling! The kind of heat that made even walking a chore.

The island is packed with tourists for the Memorial Day weekend. The hotels are full. But the tourists are not spending money. The restaurants and bars were empty last night. I suspect that most of the holiday visitors drove down for the weekend and are families. They are here for beach, sun and some extra fun. And it is pizza in the room at night!

I spent four hours at Borders yesterday afternoon. I am engrossed in the Harry Tuman book. I am into his school days in Independence and the stirrings of his feelings for Bess Wallace. I will probably spend a few hours there today. The book has captured my interest.

Visited with the grandchildren. Robert appears on the mend. It is amazing what modern day medication can do in a short time. He is far from well yet. But decidedly on his way. Ally plays nurse to Robert. She is very serious about it. Not playing.

Love them both!

A big night last night!

Started as usual at the Chart Room. Marty, Captain Peter and Sean. And a few tourists who stopped in. Nothing big.

Then to Michael’s for dinner with Marty.

Bart was there. Bart used to own Alice’s with Alice. Now he sometimes helps out at Antonia’s. Bart and Antonia owner Christopher are good friends.

I was sitting next to Bart. I had not seen him in a while. We had an interesting conversation. I vented a bit about my recent frustrations with Antonia’s. I am sure Bart will convey them to Christopher.

Where to go next? The three of us, Marty, Bart and Louis, ended up at La Te Da. Debra and Patrick time! Love Debra’s singing!

The crowd was not as it should have been. But those there were dancing up a storm!

One drink was enough for me. I headed home to catch the end of the Los Angeles/Denver basketball game. There was 8 minutes left when I climbed into bed. The end of the game is always the best. That is when everything happens!

I fell asleep before the game was over. Slept the night away with the lights on. Had to look on the internet this morning to see who won.

Today is a special day. Lisa and Corey’s sixth wedding anniversary! Congratulations to them! It has been some 6 years!

Dinner tonight with Lisa and the family. I offered to babysit so Lisa and Corey could go out. But they said no. They just want a special family dinner at home. And so it shall be!

Enjoy your day!

Memorial Day Weekend!

Key West is packed! No room at the inn!

There was an excitement in the air last night. You could feel the holiday. People were happy and having fun.

Marty and I met for drinks at the Keys Piano Bar. It was the Keys because Bobby Nesbitt was playing at cocktail hour. He is the best!

Then we headed over to Louie’s Backyard. Mine in name only! Wish I owned it!

We ate upstairs at the new tapas restaurant. Good! Cheap! What a view!

Grandson Robert has finally been properly diagnosed. He has been sick with an off and on fever and cough for just over a week. Plus always tired. He has pneumonia.

I feel bad for the little one. However, he is finally getting medicated. He got a shot and is on a heavy dose of antibiotics. So he will get better.

Prior to yesterday, the diagnosis was he had the bug/a virus and time would heal him. No meds required.

Makes you wonder!

I saw something awful yesterday! Terrible! Sick!

For the past two weeks, the papers have advised that some religious nut was coming to Key West this weekend to protest the gay life here. It’s a free country. There seemed to be a community consensus to ignore the person.

I must have seen the beginning of this bigoted onslaught ysterday.

There were a number of protesters, for want of a better word, on the corner of the Boulevard and US 1. 12-15. They were carrying signs. “God hates fags!” “God hates Israel!” “Kill more soldiers!” And some other similar type ditties I cannot specifically recall.

They also had an American flag. A large one. When they crossed the street, one of the protestors dragged the flag along the ground like a beach towel.

These protestors were not adults. Not one of them. They were all children! Teenagers at best!
I would suspect between 10 and 16 years of age. Boys and girls alike. Clean cut. Happy and cheerful in all they were doing.

My judgment is that they were not Kest West residents. Probably from outside the area. Brought here for planned weekend demonstrations.

I am an attorney by profession. I respect the First Amendment right to free speech. Which includes flag desecration. But to use children to spread one’s vile thoughts! A step too much! Over the line!

I hope this is the most publicity this group will get. I doubt it, however. This is only the tip of the iceburg. A well planned invasion is upon us.

A strange occurence yesterday.

I was lazy. Spent the day hanging around the house. Mostly in bed. That kind of day.

Marty called at dinner time. He is back in town. He wanted to go to dinner. Square One. I was not in the mood. Too elegant for me last night. Told him I thought I would go to Schooner’s Wharf, have a couple of drinks and probably a fish sandwich at the bar.

We were on different wave lengths. So we agreed not to meet.

I stepped out of the shower at 7. My cell phone rang. It was Dan Manaher of Don’s Place. “Where are you?” “Home,” I replied. “When are you coming?” “Coming where?” “To the bocci party!”

I forgot! Last night was the bocci banquet at Don’s Place for our special 4 team group. Our second annual such party!

We had talked about it for 3 weeks. All of us. Bocci is important! The banquet even more important!

Don and I had chatted about it several times. Jules, who was in charge of awards, and I talked about it many times, also. Michael was responsible for the menu. He and I discussed the party and menu more than once.

And I forgot!


I was there in 15 minutes. Everyone was already partying. Most had already eaten. Food left, however.

I had a wonderful time!

My bocci friends are all good people!

There were several awards. Jules, Larry, Amanda, Chris and a couple of others received trophies. Well deserved! All happy to be recipients! And the rest of us happy to see them recognized!

Larry’s team was the big winner. Yankee Jack wrote a special song for Larry to commerate the event. Yankee stood next to Larry with his arm around Larry and sang it to him. Amusing to observe. Big Yankee and tiny Larry. One squeeze of Yankee’s arm and Larry would have been annihilated!

The words Yankee wrote fit the occasion. More importantly, they fit Larry!

Next year I am going to write the event on the back of my hand in indelible ink 3 weeks in advance of the bocci dinner. That way, I will be sure to remember! That is, if I have not already been confined for Alzheimer’s!