Saturday night at the Yacht Club was harder on me than I thought. I was hung over. I spent all day yesterday in bed, except for two brief excursions.

I thought a swim would help. So I swam laps for a half hour in the pool at mid day. Did nothing for me.

I had Sunday dinner in the evening with Lisa and the family. Stayed all of an hour. I was planning to go over to the Gardens afterwards. Instead, I returned to home and bed.

Oh, how we pay for our sins!

Key West has many world wide connections. Key Westers have touched the world. There is always some one here who has experienced a bit of life with some one living in a distant place.

Lou Harris is the world famous pollster. Especially of the 1950s and 1960s. He is retired and has lived full time in Key West for many years.

He was a close friend of the Kennedy brothers. His name always comes up in any readings of the John and Robert Kennedy campaigns of that era.

He was close to Ted Kennedy. And to his wife Vickie. I commented on Vickie yesterday and her stoic appearance at the Senator’s church ceremony.

I read the local news paper Solares Hill later in the day yesterday after I had written the blog. Solares Hill reported that Harris had left thursday to visit the Kennedy family and Vickie in Massachusetts. Solares Hill also reported a comment by Harris that Vickie’s discipline was of great value to the Senator during his latter years.

Truly a small world!

I hope today is a better day for me!

A sad time yesterday. I watched Senator Kennedy’s church service on TV. Very emotional!

Two things especially moved me. His sons and wife Vickie.

Both sons spoke of their father. With a warm and respectful eloquence. Sometimes humorous, sometimes tearful.

Vicky’s appearance and demeanor spoke to every one without any words being uttered. She manifested a supportive dignity. The Senator was lucky to have had her in his latter years.

A week of sadness is behind us. Life moves on.

Last night was party time! And party we did!

The Yacht Club had a lobster fest. So I invited some friends to join me.

Don and Stephanie. Rob and Beebe. David and Karen.

And Jim. Jim is husband to my bocci partner Jules. Jules was not with us. She was visiting girl friends in New Orleans.

None of us has ever seen Jim without a baseball cap on his head. Last night he arrived without the hat. A different man! He had hair! Thick white hair. We never knew!

What a party! What a time!

Good food! Good company!

I was a bit wasted when I finally got home. OK to do every now and then.

It is Sunday! Love Sundays!

The newspapers, Meet the Press, Lisa and the grandkids, the Gardens and I don’t know what else.

Hope your day is a good one, also!

A good Key West day yesterday!

I had lunch with my favorite girl. Daughter Lisa. We sat quietly and talked for a long time at the Yacht Club.

Then over to Borders to read a bit.

I came across a pictorial novel about Dansville, New York. Never heard of Dansville before. For some reason, I started leafing through it. The pictures reminded me of my own home town up north, Utica, New York.

So I decided to read the book. It was one of those quick short things. Took all of a half hour.

Dansville is a village located in Livingston County in upstate New York. Probably a 100 miles to the south west of Utica.

A village in New York is the smallest municipal entity. A village is genrally part of a town. Dansville was and is in the town of North Dansville.

I know this all sounds less than exciting. But Dansville does have an interesting history!

Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross.

She was tired after nursing in the Franco-Prussian Wars. So she took a trip to Dansville. Dansville at the time was famous for its health spa. Barton went to the spa to rest. The time frame is early 1870s.

Barton liked Dansville so much that she became a resident. Lived there for 10 years. And it was while she lived in Dansville that she founded the American Red Cross.

Dansville had another famous resident. His name was Klinker. He manufactured one of the first automobiles in the United states. Right there in Dansville. And called the car Klinker.

The compny did not stay in business long.

The Chart Room to start my evening.

Che was leaving as I arrived. Peter said hello and left. Marty is out of town. Going to be a boring evening, I thought.

No way.

In came Gary and JJ. I had never met either. They are locals. Our paths have just never crossed.

Gary is in charge of maintenace at Las Brisas. JJ is retired from a credit union career. We had good conversation.

There was also a tourist at the bar. From Atlanta. We talked a bit about the federal Centers for Disease Control which is located in Atlanta. A big deal! My enviromental work took me there a couple of times for extended trips. A huge campus. It has all kinds of information and data about bad things. An intimidating place.

It was dinner at the bar at Hot Tin Roof. A piece of snapper. So good! And kind words from manager John.

By the way, I still am into my good health kick. I have lost 5 pounds since Tuesday. I know. It’s all water! But 5 pounds is 5 pounds!

After dinner, it was off to the Keys Piano Bar. I was in the mood to hear some Broadway tunes well sung. And I was not disappointed!

The performances were outstanding!

While I was enjoying a drink at the bar, Queen Kate Miano came in. She was dressed in all her queenly regalia. The crown, the long dress. Her personal regal appearance.

She came to me immediately with open arms. A warm embrace and kiss. Kate is a wonderful person! She was all dressed up last night as it was the beginning of this year’s Fantasy Fest quest for a new King and Queen. Kate is reigning Queen.

Mary Jo came in. I am amazed by the woman’s ability to survive! A hug and kiss from Mary Jo, also.

Then home to bed and a good night’s sleep.

I slept a bit late. Which is good! And welcome! The sun is up. There is a slight breeze. It is going to be another golden Key West day.

I hope the sun is shinning where ever you are! And if not, may it shine in your heart!

Larry Smith had shoulder replacement surgery Wednesday afternoon.

I stopped by the hospital yesterday morning to visit him.

He is well!

I expected to see Larry lying in pain. Pressing the morphine button every time he felt a pain shot coming.

It was not that way.

Larry was propped up in bed. A bright smile on his face. Talking non stop.

He was in terrific shape. God bless! I had expected the contrary.

A speedy recovery, my friend!

Peter Diamond was visiting Larry also. I have not run into Peter in quite a while. It was good to see him. Peter is a vocalist and appears at many of the leading Key West haunts.

Lunch at the Yacht Club. Then a bit of grocery shoping. The cupboard was bare.

Last night bocci! Always a big night!

It was fun!

How did we do? Better than expected.

We played the #2 team from last season. We were the cellar team last season.

We won 1 out of 3 games. Almost was 2!

On the first 2 rolls of the first game, our opponents scored a 3 and a 4 respectively. The game was only a couple of minutes old and we were losing 7-0. We were beaten decisively in that first game.

The second game was close. We lost by 2 points. It was a neck and neck battle.

The third game was a blow out! We beat them like 16-6.

We all played better. We all played well–on occasion. That is one of our problems. Lack of consistency. However, we recognize it and are working to overcome.

The season will not be as bad as the last one. Last season we only won 4 games. Already in 3 weeks this season, we have won 2. That is progress!

Playing were David, Don, Rob, Michael, Keith and me. Keith is David’s son. This is his first season as a bocci player. He was outstanding last night! Jules was in New Orleans visiting girl friends. We missed her hook shot.

I have no plans for today. Nothing to do. It is going to be an interesting day.

Summer is terrific in Key West!

Hot and humid!

The humidity can become a bit too much on occasion when there is no breeze. But that is seldom since Key West is a small island and there generally is an ocean breeze.

Yesterday was a hot and humid day. But with a breeze!

I played golf with Don. Only Don. We were the only persons who showed up to play.

Larry was in the hospital having shoulder replacement surgery. Yankee Jack is in Maine doing a gig. Randy has not showed up in 2 weeks. Aaron wanted to play later. Everyone else is up north.

So it was me and Don.

Don is an excellent golfer. I suck. We played a money game.

He started off giving me a stroke a hole, except for the par 3s. At the end of the first nine, Don had won 7 holes. Being a gentleman, Don gave me 2 strokes a hole on the back side. I needed them!

It was enough to stop the blood letting. I was able to win a couple of holes on the back side and tie most of the others.

In the end, I only lost $5 to Don. It was his genrosity on the back side that saved my ass.

To place the entire round in perspective, Don shot a 76 and I a 115.

I had fun, though!

Last night was dinner with Lisa and the grandkids. At Lisa’s home. Corey is out of town for a few days on business.

Robert and Ally are all wound up over school. They started back this week.

I was home in bed early. No drinking. Never went out, other than dinner at Lisa’s.

I hate it when a person of prominence passes on. The mourning lasts several days and we are all a part of it. I feel drained over Ted Kennedy’s passing.

MSNBC had a one hour special on the 4 Kennedy brothers prepared for showing tonight. Due to Ted Kennedy’s death, they ran the show last night at 9. A Chris Matthews special. Outstanding! If you missed the special, look for it on the reruns.

I am up early again. Still dark outside. I love the black of eary morning before the sun rises. Nothing can be seen. The only sound is the passing ocean.

Enjoy your day!

Ted Kennedy. Rest in Peace.

You live long enough, you feel a part of history. I voted for Jack Kennedy for President. I worked for Robert Kennedy’s election as a U.S. Senator. I observed Ted Kennedy’s development from playboy to statesman.

The Kennedy era is ended. Yes, their children and grandchildren may enter public life. But it will not be the same. Something special has moved on.

A return to my mundane life.

Yesterday started with a haircut. It was Lori time! A pleasant lady. She does her work at Blown Away which is on Southard, just off Duval.

I walked Duval afterwards. From the Atlantic to the Gulf and back. It was hot and humid. I am on a new health kick again. Eat and drink less and exercise more.

Key West is relatively quiet this week. Generally is. It is the week before school starts. Families are getting ready for school rather than vacationing.

I stopped for water at the Pier House Beach Bar. Read the newspapers there also. I was the only one at the bar. It was that quiet in town!

I was driving to the Chart Room last night when Marty called. He was hung up taking a hearing. We had intended to have dinner together. I told him I would wait for him.

The beach may have been empty at the Pier House during the day. The Chart Room at the Pier House at night was not. People still drink.

I waited for Marty till 8:30. During that time I chatted with Che, Dan and Captain Peter. Then Gary and Tecia came in. My new found friends from Oswego, New York. They work over at Fort Zach park mornings.

Gary was wearing a Syracuse University tee shirt. Good guy, Gary! It is nice to have another Orange fan here in Key West.

Marty never made it. I gave up waiting at 8:30. My stomach was growling. Left him a message I would be at La Trattoria.

He never showed up.

La Trattoria was slow also. I enjoyed Erin’s company and that of some patrons at the bar.

And then home to bed.

Golf this morning! Good! As usual, I am anxious to play.

Enjoy the day!

I am up late this morning. Overslept!

Yesterday was a pleasant day.

I had lunch at Blossom’s and read the newspapers.

Then to Borders for some further reading. I am into a World War II book about the interpersonal relationships amongst Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin. The book covers their meetings and communications. Each was playing head games with the others. Most interesting.

Last night my first stop was the Chart Room. No Marty. He deserted me.

However, Jean and Shiela were there. Much better company. And more pleasant to look at.

Afterwards I walked over to Kelley’s for wings.

And then home to bed.

A good Key West day.

Condoms are for safe sex. There are places in this world where they should be used and are not.

One of those places is the Ukraine.The Ukraine has one of the highest HIV infection rates in the world.

To induce condom use, a Ukrainian scientist invented music playing condoms. You heard me right!

The volume of the music depends on the intensity of the love making. The tone depends on the sexual position.

Only in America! No, only in the Ukraine!

Good morning!

I am up early! Still dark outside!

Yesterday proved to be a terrific day.

It started with the beach. Fort Zachrey Taylor beach. I went with Lisa, Corey and the grandkids.

Hot! No breeze! I spent most of the time in the water or under some trees.

Robert and Ally swim like fish. I am impressed how they handle themselves in the water. Corey had them swimming by the rocks. He had his snorkeling mask and the grandkids their goggles. They were all floating around looking at the fish. At one point I put on Corey’s mask and took a look. There were a lot of different and colorful fish!

Last night was a big evening for Larry Smith at the Wine Galley.

Larry is having shoulder replacement surgery Wednesday. Last night was Larry’s we love you and good luck party!

The place was packed! I have never seen so many people! Inside and out! Dancing! Singing! Clayton Lopez was featured. Many vocal artists and musicians attended. All participated in providing entertainment.

It was a big night!

Larry, you are definitely loved!

Enjoy your day, my friends!

The past two days have been enjoyable. But a bit tiring. Especially Friday!

I baby sat Robert and Ally Friday. That made two days in a row! Hard work! I was exhausted by the time Lisa picked them up Friday afternoon!

I had promised Robert and Ally miniature golf. So Friday we drove up to Boondocks to play. This was their second time. They are getting better rapidly. Robert even had a hole in one! Ally did one hole in a 2!

They loved it! Laughed all away around the course! It made me feel good about having taken them there.

Then we had lunch at Boondocks.

Robert and Ally both ordered macaroni and cheese. What else! Robert had a diet Pepsi. His mother does not permit the children to drink soda. So Robert was sort of cheating and knew it! He drank gleefully!

Ally had lemonade. It was pink! Pink is her favorite color! She was in pink lemonade heaven!

After returning home, we swam for a while. And then Lisa arrived and took her children back.

I fell into bed exhausted! Two days in a row of baby sitting! I suddenly realized why God makes parents young!

Thursday night I was too tired to dress and go out. But not tired enough to stay in. So I sneaked over to Hogfish for a sandwich and some quiet bar chatter. And then home to an early bed.

Yesterday was a Louis day. I seem to be doing a lot of them lately. Perhaps there is a need. Who knows!

Anyhow I started my Saturday with a manicure. Then to Borders to read a bit.

Lunch was at Blossom’s. The people who ran Paradise Cafe ran into difficulty. They could not make a deal with the bank. So they have reopened down the street and around the corner. At Blossom’s! It is on White Street, just off Eaton. The same good food. The same good people.

I started Saturday night at the Chart Room. Lots of people! Marty, Captain Peter and Shiela. And Michael the bartender.

I also made two new friends. Brian and Tisha. They were sitting next to me at the bar. They are from Oswego, Nedw York. I did a lot of law work in Oswego over the years. It is about a 1 hour 40 minute drive from Utica. So we had some common acquaintances.

Brian retired after 37 years with the County. Tisha retired after a life time with the Police Department. They reside here in Key West in July and August. And then return for another 3 months in January, February and March.

They live and work at Fort Zachrey Taylor Beach. They live in their own RV and do minimal maintenace work mornings at the beach.

A good life! Both looked healthy and tanned. And Brian proudly said his blood pressure had dropped because of the job.

They both love Key West.

I am glad I ran into them . I suspect we are going to become good friends.

It was steak time! I wanted a good one! So it was off the the Strip House at the Reach. What a delicious sirloin!

I planned on going over to the Keys Piano Bar after dinner for some good music. However as I finished my coffee, my body told me I felt just right! I needed no more of anything. So it was home to bed and a good night’s sleep!

Today is Sunday. Love Sundays!

I am starting the morning with a swim with Lisa, Corey and the grandkids. At Fort Zach beach!

Tonight will be Kate Miano’s Gardens and then to the Wine Galley to hear Larry Smith. Larry is having shoulder replacement surgery Wednesday and we are gathering for a party tonight to wish him well.

Enjoy your day!

This past week a mother and son died. On the same day. In two different cities 50 miles apart.

Vicky Tehan and her son Basil.

The Tehan story is an All American story. About an All American family.

Vicky died at the age of 92. Her son Basil, 67.

Vicky married Louis Tehan in 1941 in Utica, NY. They were the children of immigrants. Their parents had come to this country from Syria.

Louis and Vicky were a typical first generation immigrant family. Full of desire for the future. Wanting everything for their children. Hard working. Seeking the American dream.

With one difference. They succeeded! They reached for the stars and made it!

I first met Louis and Vicky when I was very young. Sometime during World War II.

My parents had bought a two family home on James Street in Utica. Their first tenants were Joe and Ann Torchia. The Tehans and Torchias were good friends. Eventually my parents became good friends with the Tehans, also.

I remember visitng the Tehan home with my mother. The home was located on Square Street. It was a store front with an apartment in the back or upstairs.

The store front was filled with brown card board boxes filled with all types of candy.

At that time, Louis made a living by selling candy door to door. I recall him selling Hershey chocolate candy bars that way. A bar at a time.

Eventually the business grew. Louis and Vicky opened a new and bigger store on the corner of James and Conkling Streets. Again a storefront. With an apartment upstairs.

The time frame is around the late 1950s and early 1960s.

The store was bigger. And the Tehans were now selling all kinds of products. The candy had given birth to air conditioners, dishes and the like. Every thing but clothes.

It was the beginning of discount stores. And the Tehans were there at the forefront of the industry.

The whole family worked! Louis and Vicky had 6 children. They were all over the place helping out.

Success continued to follow Louis and Vicky. Success for them resulted from hard work. And they must have worked real hard! Whatever they did, proved successful!

They opened a new and bigger store. Real big! In a shopping plaza on Mohawk Street. It was a catalogue store. Catalogue stores were a new concept for selling.

A customer looked up the item he wanted in a catalogue. Got the number. Gave it to an employee. And the product was delivered to you from the back room. A revolutionary selling concept at the time!

With the advent of the big catalogue store on Mohawk Street, the Tehan working crew consisted of more than Louis and Vicky and the 6 kids. They now were hiring people! Employees!

Louis and Vicky were precursors. They got into a new field and succeeded big time!

Louis died in 1974. A good man gone!

Vicky continued in the business world after Louis passed on.

She and the family built their own shopping plaza on Commercial Drive in New Hartford. A big one! Besides a Tehan store, it had everything else a huge commercial plaza has on the property.

And Vicky was the Chairman of the Board! Chairperson, that is!

Vicky was the ultimate woman! Active from day one in the business. From that little store front on Square Street to the big commercial plaza in New Hartford. She worked and raised a family at the same time. She did 50 years ago what women are trying to accomplish today. Just as the Tehan business was a precursor, Vicky was also.

Vicky was a soft spoken humble woman who aged gracefully. She was a lady! In and out of business.

Louis and Vicky had to be proud of their family. Their 6 children gave them 16 grandchildren, who in turn have thus far produced 10 great grandchildren. Louis would have been proud of the seed of his seed. And Vicky was always proud of the whole family!

I have not intentionally neglected their son Basil. Vicky and Basil’s deaths on the same day in separate communities was mere happens chance. Perhaps God wanted them to walk into Heaven together to greet Louis.

Basil was a part of that American dream I mentioned earlier. His parents sent him off to college. Basil ended up obtaining a Doctorate in physics from Clarkson University. He spent most of his adult life teaching in local colleges.

Basil was a humble individual, also. The fruit does not fall far from the tree.

Basil and I were neighbors in Utica. We both lived near the local community college campus where I walked every day during the warm weather. I had to pass Basil’s home on my way to the campus. Basil was generally outside puttering around. And he always had a warm smile and a wave of his hand as I passed by.

How does the saying go? We were better to have known them!

Rest in peace Vicky and Basil.