IN FLANDERS FIELDS WHERE POPPIES BLOW…..

“In Flanders Fields where poppies blow…..Between the crosses, row on row.”

The words created in the early stages of World War I. Authored by Lt. Col. John Mc Crae.

Today is Memorial Day. A federal holiday to honor those who died in the service of the their country. The United States of America.

Cemeteries committed to the war dead are special. You immediately know when you see and feel one.

I have been to Arlington National Cemetery twice. The experience the same each time. Emotional. Extremely so.

Many years ago, I was on a one month vacation in Italy. A family trip. My wife, three of my children and my parents. Rented a villa on the

Mediterranean in Livonia some 40 miles outside Rome. Livonia is near Anzio. Anzio the place where Allied troops effected a major landing

during World War II.

One day I was out alone driving around the area. Saw a cemetery. No question, a military one. The crosses lined neatly row after row. The grounds and shrubbery neatly trimmed.

It was a British cemetery.

I walked row after row. Read the captions on the crosses. Age, rank and name included. I was amazed how young most were. Highly ranked at an early age. Dead at an early age. Majors 24 years old.

Then I came to a series of crosses that bore a singular description: Known To God Alone. I immediately started crying. The tears came fast and heavy. I was so moved.

Flanders Field was written during World War I. The war to end all wars. Unfortunately, we have experienced many since. How many more will we experience? The handwriting is on the wall. It is obvious there will be more. Sadly stated.

A Harvard student Commencement speaker went off script to rip Harvard for refusing to graduate 13 who had been involved in disruptive anti-Israel encampments. Hundreds of graduates followed her speech with a supportive walkout.

The 13 broke Harvard’s rules. They claim they exercised free speech. Their right. However, resulted in conflict. One which required the 13 to pay a penalty for violating Harvard’s standards. The way of the world.

Such is life! Do what you want and say, but be prepared to pay a price for the conduct if such is warranted.

Life is difficult for many. Some cannot handle it and resort to suicide. Such was the way of 30 year old PGA Golf Pro Grayson Murray.

May he find in death that which was unavailable to him in life.

Why? Far right Israeli settlers stepped up attacks on aid trucks bound for Gaza. The trucks loaded with aid were passing through the West Bank. Their actions blocked food from reaching Gaza. The result, the Palestinians in Gaza are sinking deeper into famine.

I am proud to say for a number of years this blog has had followers from Papua, New Guinea. 

A recent slide has buried more than 2,000 people. Many children. Several villages totally buried. Survivors are digging with their hands to locate and rescue those who might still be alive.

Thousands are displaced.

Pope Francis continues to have a difficult time keeping the Catholic Church together. He is constantly persecuted. The man amazes me how he stands up to the conservative right who are anti-Francis. Those who oppose him seek political glamour and gain, not the love of God.

Even some nuns are against him. Sixteen Spanish nuns announced they are placing themselves under the authority of Pablo de Rojas Sanchez-Franco, a self-styled bishop who was excommunicated in 2019.

An issue causing the schism involves Francis’ support of same sex couples. Francis has given priests the power to bless same sex couples.

Experts say COVID variants will be here this summer. May be a significant problem. We hear little about it from the government. Many of these same experts believe the American public will be unprepared under the circumstances.

Trump tells wealthy donors behind closed doors that he will crush pro-Palestinian protesters, deport campus demonstrators and, support Israel’s right to continue “its war on terror.”

Many of the donors were of Jewish extraction.

Justice Alito’s flag flew upside down. Are his ethics?

Enjoy Memorial Day!

SHARKS ACTVE IN MASSACHUSETTS WATERS

It is that time of the year. Summer is here. Northern waters warming. Especially Massachusetts waters. Sharks have returned.

I spent many a vacation in Cape Cod. Generally, Chatham. Stayed at the Chatham Bar Inn. Chatham the best and the Inn itself outstanding.

Sharks common place. The warm Cape waters attracted them. Lifeguards were always pulling us out of the water.

I do not recall Whites. Glad I do not. Monsters. Would have freaked me out!

Southerners were traitors and insurrectionists in their time. They are traitors and insurrectionists now. The only difference is grey uniforms as opposed to red hats.

Trump continues to lie. He speaks with a forked tongue. Unfortunately, many believe him.

His recent lie involves the crowd at Trump’s Bronx rally thursday. Trump claims 25,000. His campaign had only acquired a permit for 3,500.

FOX News, MAGA media people, and the official X account of the Republican Party reported 25,000.

Aerial footage of the event and ABC’s coverage indicated a much smaller number. The Daily Beast had a reporter there who estimated 1,000 attendees.

Trump will never change. Once a liar, always a liar. A leopard does not change his spots.

Trump was loudly heckled and booed at the Libertarian Convention saturday. A sharp departure from what he is accustomed to.

We are going through a period where the value of a college degree is being questioned. Contrast it to when I was in high school in the early 1950’s. A college degree was everything. I had to go to college. A necessity as far as I was concerned. It was the ticket to success. In most instances, guaranteed.

No more.

The cost to obtain  the degree and after graduation getting a job paying an annual salary to begin fair in comparison to the cost of the degree rarely exists.

A number of considerations involved. Colleges do not necessarily consider themselves bastions of teaching nor preparing students to earn decent compensation in the working world. They are money making entities.

Syracuse University an example. Syracuse announced this week that the sticker price for a Bachelor’s degree will climb close to $90,000 a year. Tuition is rising by $2,400 to an average of $63,710. Room and board is increasing by just over $3,000.

Nothing to be proud of.

The problem is colleges today are run as businesses. Top paid professors and staff. Students at the bottom of the list of concerns.

How many Bachelor degrees warrant $90,000 a year. Students are being cheated.

Things have changed dramatically from when I went to college. College for me was 1953-1957. I do not recall accurately what it cost. My mind recollects $2,400 a semester. I was able to work my way through. Understand that money had a different value back then. A loaf of bread was 5 cents, an ice cream cone 5 cents, a gallon of gas around 15 cents.

Law school was another story. The cost out of sight. A professional school. Again I cannot recall with certainty how much. A hell of a lot more than $2,400 a semester. Whatever, I worked my way through law school also. Married and had my first born the summer before senior year. Still handled it.

Never borrowed a penny for college or law school. Did supplement the monies required with a few scholarships along the way. 

Loan programs did not exist. Those today are disasters. Obvious to all. Students burdened with overwhelming debt. The ones who made money and came out ahead were the colleges, banks and government. All got a piece of the action off the extravagant costs added on to the monies borrowed.

Women were discriminated against in the workplace in the mid 1800’s. During the Civil War, doctors for example, demanded male nurses. Clara Barton defied them. She was a trailblazer and became known as the Angel of the Battlefield. She eventually founded the Red Cross.

Trust you are having fun this holiday weekend. I miss the family cookouts.

Enjoy the weekend!

BODY LICE NOW BELIEVED TO BE A CONTRIBUTING CAUSE OF THE BUBONIC PLAGUE

Love historians! Some spend their lives studying life as it was lived hundreds of years ago and after years of study discover new or additional causes of events.

A new theory has originated re the cause of the Bubonic Plague aka the Black Death.

One way of describing the Black Death is it was a bubonic plague pandemic occurring in Europe from 1346 to 1353. Fifty million died. Equated to 50 percent of Europe’s 14th century population at the time.

Causes are thought to be many. One of the most popular involved Pope Gregory IX. He believed cats were evil. Especially black ones. Satanic in nature. He issued a Papal Bull directing all European Catholics to kill cats.

They did. Cats were eradicated.

Cats killed rats. With the elimination of cats, rats multiplied and ran rampant. 

Rats carried the germ that caused the Bubonic Plague. With no one eliminating or controlling the bug, it caused the Black Death of the 50 million persons mentioned.

Cats were redeemed and with their return the Plague ceased.

Last tuesday, a study was published that came up with a contributing factor to the Black Plague. Body lice. A carrier.

Makes sense. People during the time of the Black Plague did not wash. Many went their entire lives without bathing.

There are other purported causes. From way back when. Others will be discovered in future years as body lice has recently. People study and discover. What’s next?

The UN’s top tribunal The International Court of Justice ordered Israel to halt military operations in Rafah. All the Court can do is “order.” It has no means to enforce its judgments.

Even if it had means, I doubt Israel would comply. Israel always goes back to World War II when no one helped Jews who were annihilated by Hitler to the tune of 6 million people.

Bryan Gillis is the Louisville Police Officer who arrested Scottie Scheffler. He has been a policeman for 16 years. During that time he received condemnations and disciplines. A significant number of disciplinary charges.

Previous reprimands include 5 days suspension for “conduct unbecoming” an officer for driving an intoxicated civilian in his police vehicle and doing “donuts” in a business parking lot. He was also disciplined for pursuing a “vehicle that did not commit a violent felony or wanted on a warrant.” He was found “at fault” for accidents on 8/6/19 and 5/22/21. He was found “at fault” for a 12/1/13 accident which led to mandatory driver training. Gills was suspended at one point for failing to show up in court. Such was followed up in 2012 for continuing to miss court appearances.

He is not a “clean hands” officer. Based on the disciplinary charges, Gillis’ conduct fails to meet the smell test. It stinks.

News reports suggest there is an attempted “cover up” on going. Unfortunately for Gillis, Scottie Scheffler was the wrong guy to pick on. Scheffler is Mr. Clean himself.

House Speaker Johnson announced Netanyahu will be speaking before a joint meeting of Congress soon.

Wrong!!!

His appearance represents Republican game playing again. A Republican Congress invited Netanyahu in 2015 to speak. Behind President Obama’s back and without Obama’s permission. His visit was to assist Netanyahu in lobbying against the nuclear deal which Washington  wound up signing with Iran later that year.

The purpose of Netanyahu’s visit this time will be to embarrass Biden.

Republicans are sick. Anything to win. Anything for Trump. Prior to Netanyahu’s earlier visit and the coming one, the Presidnet invited Presidents and heads of state of other nations to visit Washington. Even to enjoy the honor of addressing Congress. An arranged opportunity by the President of the U.S.

The heat level will be big this holiday weekend in South Florida. Heat feeling in excess of 100 degrees. It will feel like August in May.

Recommended that people remain indoors with air conditioning going.

This heat is bothering me. First time I can recall. Though my new aortic heart valve has energized me, the heat is knocking me on my ass. I follow my own advice and remain in. However, I still must go out for a bit each day. The shortest walk becomes an effort.

Judy Blume is one of Key West’s finest citizens. I discovered yesterday that a Service Area on the Garden State Parkway is named after her. The Judy Blume Service Area.

Judy was born and raised in Elizabeth, New Jersey. She is a New Jersey Hall of Famer. The Monmouth Service Area was named after her in March 2022. Other Service areas named after New Jerseyites include Larry Doby, Jon Bon Jovi, James Gandolfini, Connie Chang, and Frank Sinatra.

Judy has achieved world fame. Her novels have sold 82 million copies. She and her husband now reside in Key West and own and operate Books and Books.

I have three daughters. Judy’s books were allover our home during their upbringing.  I never read any. However, I did find amusing her titles. Like “Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret.”

Enjoy your day!

CLARENCE THOMAS IS A BLACK BIGOT

Clarence Thomas is a black bigot. A black man who wants to be white. He gets closer to it every day.

In the South Carolina racial gerrymandering case decided yesterday, Thomas voted with the six Republican majority. The victory definitely anti-Black. The decision will make it harder for civil right advocates to bring racial gerrymandering claims. Thomas supported the majority position in a concurring opinion. He had to write one apparently motivated to let everyone know how white he has become.

In the concurring opinion, Thomas implied the Supreme Court should stop intervening in the redistricting process of States’. His way of articulating the Court should not hear racial gerrymandering cases. 

Is he crazy? Racial gerrymandering cases are the Black persons’/minority’s way of seeking relief where a Republican state legislative body votes to screw its Black population out of the power of their vote.

Thomas used his concurring opinion to also write a strong rebuke of Brown v. Board of Education suggesting the Court had overruled its authority in the landmark decision. The landmark decision that banned separating Black  school children by race.

His contrariness re racial gerrymandering cases and rebuke of Brown v. Board of Education shows his Black mental pigmentation is receding and his White coming out. He is succeeding in being accepted as a White man in White circles.

Thomas and his buddy Alito have to go from the Supreme Court. 

Yesterday’s South Carolina decision requires specific mentioning. The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in favor of Republicans that South Carolina did not unlawfully consider race when they stripped Black voters of the power of their vote. The decision will make it harder for civil rights plaintiffs to bring racial gerrymandering claims.

The vote was 6-3, The 6 Republicans voted in support of the decision, the 3 Democrats opposed. Even more repulsive, Justice Alito wrote the majority decision.

Two thirds of Democrats fear violence may follow the Presidential election. Based on a Reuters/Ipsos poll released yesterday.

I agree if Trump loses, there may very well be violence. It is the nature of Donald Trump. His way is ruination. His actions in defeat could  result in a civil war. If per chance Trump wins the election, within a short period of time the U.S. will become a dictatorship. Yes, a Reich. Donald will become Adolph.

The hurricane warning came out yesterday. It was predicted the hurricane season could be the worst in decades.

Eight to 13 hurricanes, four to seven major ones. Most aggressive ever.

The cause is primarily attributed to global temperatures. It has been unusually hot. Cyclones intensify three times faster as a result.

The DOW dropped 605 points yesterday. The DOW closed at 39,065.26.

It was the worst day of 2024 for the DOW.

Worry not. What goes up, must come down. And vice versa.

The market may rise today. If not, bad news Another down day will not be a good sign.

Trump rallied in the Bronx last night in hope of attracting Black votes and making New York State go Republican in the Presidential election. New York has gone Democrat for a very long time.

Trump promised to “make America great again.” Rally attendees appeared supportive. Repeatedly chanted “Build the Wall!”

A change has taken place. Cannabis has topped alcohol as America’s daily drug of choice.

Did a bit of shopping at Publix yesterday. The pantry was empty. For real. It was shop or starve.

Prices up again. Needed Publix tissues. The normal sized box. Three dollars plus the cost for one box. Crazy!

Just like Campbell’s Soup. Over $2 a can.

In my opinion, Biden has done an excellent job. Two problems, however. Two that make some who supported him in the past now believe Trump will do better.

The two items are basics. The price of groceries and gasoline. Biden has to do something with these two items over the next few months.

An issue discussed at the recent Marathon meeting re rehabilitation of the Seven Mile Bridge included adding a dedicated bicyclist/pedestrian lane that would be separated by a barrier.

Seven miles awfully long. Wise?

Time for Schooner Wharf’s Minimal Regatta again. Sunday. Boats made of “barebone supplies.” More of a sink and swim situation.

Party time this day in 1953 on Big Pine Key. Four hundred Keys residents came together to celebrate the advent of electricity on Big Pine Key.

Enjoy your day!

ALITO CAUGHT AGAIN…..ANOTHER FLYING FLAG

Who the hell do these guys think they are? I’m referring to Thomas and Alito. Thomas has committed multiple missteps over the years. Alito, also.

Last week the New York Times came up with the inverted flag at Alito’s home a few years ago. Bad taste! Alito blamed it on his wife. Her fault, he said.

Yesterday, the New York Times came up with another “flag.” This one a flag that was on display January 6, 2021 during the attack on the Capitol. The flag was flown for four days outside Alito’s beach vacation home in New Jersey last summer.

Again the Times had photos and interviews with neighbors. The flag is a symbol for Donald Trump supporters.

The flag is known as the Appeal to Heaven flag, aka the Pine Tree flag. Again, it was seen during the attack on the Capitol.

Alito and the Supreme Court have been asked for comment. No response as yet.

House Speaker Johnson faced blowback for displaying the same flag outside his office last year before assuming the Speakership. The Appeal to Heaven flag remains outside his Speaker’s office up to and including yesterday.

The Supreme Court is delaying Trump cases to the detriment of Jack Smith’s prosecution cases. No reason for it, except slowing things down to help Trump. A poor reflection on the Supreme Court. Does not reflect fairness. Contributes to the Court’s increased negativism in people’s eyes.

What has happened to the Supreme Court? The Court is disrespecting the people’s belief in Justice and Justice itself by playing political games.

Someone, do something!

Trump’s craziness continues. And at a time when a significant number of Americans want him as President.

Two days ago on May 21, Trump stood outside court and claimed people were being “mugged and killed” in an angry speech aimed at District Attorney Alvin Bragg. He said, “Did you see how many people from his office are out there while people are being mugged and killed outside? Never seen anything like it in my life.”

False, of course.

Trump’s MAGA followers have been fewer and fewer in New York City in front of the court house as the case is being heard. Especially in the last 10 days since Stormy Daniels testified.

The disappearing supporters have been replaced with Congressional persons and well known Trump people.

Trump’s statements might be more worthwhile were he a Broadway or movie producer rather that a candidate for President.

Trump however is not running for President, he’s running for dictator.

Enough of Donald.

To Golf.

The plot thickens. In the Scottie Scheffler incident, the police officer involved’s body cam was off twice. First at the time of initial contact between Officer Gillis and Scheffler. Then at the actual time of Scheffler’s arrest.

Louisville police are required to activate their cameras “prior to engaging in all law enforcement activities and encounters.”

Napoleon and the Mona Lisa. The Mona Lisa once hung in his bedroom.

Shortly after declaring himself Emperor of France, Napoleon pulled one of the biggest power moves in the history of art collecting. He had the Mona Lisa moved to his private bedchamber for his own personal viewing pleasure. 

He was taken by the Mona Lisa.. He referred to her as “Madame Lisa” and the “Sphinx of the Occident.” He would lie and stare at her for long periods of time.

The Mona Lisa hung in Napoleon’s bedroom for 4 years, until it was moved to the Grand Gallery of the Louvre Museum in 1804.

Twenty five years ago in 1999, the movie Notting Hill premiered starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant. A touching love story that took place in London. 

I loved the movie and have been fortunate to have viewed it several times. The movie acquired international fame and continues to be enjoyed by all who watch it.

The movie is rated number 4 in top romantic films of all time.

If the opportunity arises to watch it, do so. You’ll “love” the movie!

Busy day ahead. Doctor visit this morning, haircut  at noon, and a manicure at one. Followed by a visit to Date & Thyme for a Monkey Smoothie.

Enjoy your day!

REPUBLICANS LEFT UKRAINE HANGING

Congressional Republicans left Ukraine hanging.

“What is the problem?” Zelensky challenges the West over hesitations and denounces the U.S.

Zelensky is correct. I speak only re U.S. Republicans who stonewalled a proper House vote. Their conduct caused more Ukraine deaths and enabled Putin  to gain ground. Done in order to embarrass Biden.

Not the way to govern. 

There is blood on Republican hands. Trump’s also assuming he encouraged Congressional Republicans not to support Biden’s dollar proposal for the Ukraine.

Trump went Nazi. Reference the recent Nazi passage on Truth Social. The video suggested if Trump were to be reelected, his victory would bring “unified Reich.”

God help us!

The comment was later withdrawn. Trump’s staff blamed a staff writer and not Trump for the passage.

Trump is sick. Mentally sick. At a recent NRA speech, he said he was going to be a second or third term President. Sort of comparing himself to Roosevelt who was a four term Presidnet. Trump also said Biden was high as a kite during the State of the Union Address. Ergo, Trump said there should be drug testing for the debates.

Alito’s conduct, and especially his recent comments about the “upside down flag,” reflect his child-like petulance. Even one of Alito’s usual supporters Senator Lindsay Graham called it “not good judgment.”

Should Alito apologize? An apology is a better substitute than blaming his wife.

He will not apologize. He will continue in the arrogant fashion he has over the years. He does not care.

Charles A. Lindberg landed the Spirit of St. Louis near Paris this day in 1927. By so doing, he completed the first solo airplane flight across the Atlantic. His trip took 33 1/2 hours..

Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus gave its last performance in Uniondale, N.Y. The show performed this day in 2017. Its final show took place after 146 years existence.

Mackinac Island, Michigan. Cars banned on city streets. Only emergency vehicles permitted. Transportation by walking, bicycles and horse drawn carriages.

Should Key West consider such an approach to alleviate its motor vehicle congestion?

The hush money case adjourned till tuesday. It is expected final arguments will be heard then.

Trump will not be taking the stand. His “I want to testify…..I will testify” his usual bullshit.

James Carville was on Jen Psaki’s MSNBC show. He described Trump “like a mosquito in a nudist colony.” Intimating so much “Trump bad.” Carville recommended Biden zero his Trump attacks to problems involving Trump’s wrongdoings.

The U.S. News & World Report yesterday identified Naples, Florida, as the best spot in the U.S. to live in 2024-2025. It moved up from number 6 last year.

A study released yesterday indicated houses in South Florida are overpriced by 35 percent.

Cause is supply and demand. Demand exceeding supply.

I believe it. A significant reason Key West is dramatically overpriced.

The Grand Happy Hour yesterday with Steve Thompson. Cindy on the boat with Ellen.

I enjoyed tomato soup. Someday I will enjoy meat again.

Democrat District Attorney Fani Willis won her primary battle yesterday. Her relationship with a staff attorney apparently had no effect on her election. Her aggressive handling of the election interference case in Georgia accrued to her benefit.

It appears Fulton County voters admire a person who will stand up and do battle with Trump.

Michael Cohen was questioned re his present income yesterday. He testified he makes $4 million a year, $3.4 million from 2 books, plus podcast revenue and rent on real estate.

Not bad!

If more, much more, than before the Stormy Daniels situation occurred, might be worth the 3 years he spent in jail and the “aggravation” he claims he has suffered as a result.

Media Decision US lists the 20 cities in Greece favored for history, nature, cuisine, and culture. Included were Athens, Oia and Chora. I have been fortunate over the years to have spent much time in the three.

Greece is special!

Red Lobster’s mass closing apparently done without proper steps.

Donna Lowe is a former employee. She claims she was fired without warning. The lawsuit also seeks class action status.

The significance of her lawsuit is she accuses Red Lobster of violating the federal WARN Act and the New Jersey WARN Act.

The WARN Act requires companies with 100 or more employees to give workers at least 60 days notice before a planned mass layoff. Red Lobster gave zero days.

Talk now is to renovate/rebuild. Options under consideration. The Seven Mile Bridge.

It seems like only yesterday on May 22, 1982, that the Seven Mile Bridge was dedicated with 1,300 runners crossing the Bridge. Two days later on May 24, the Bridge was opened to auto traffic.

Enjoy your day!

I WAS A MILK MAN

History Facts ran an article 5/20/24 titled “What Ever Happened to the Milk Man?”

I found it personally interesting. I was once a milk man. The summer before and during my senior year in law school. The years 1959 and 1960. Our son John was born the summer of 1959 when I was a milk man.

I woke at 3:45 am. Was at the dairy at 4:30 to begin loading my truck. On the road doing home deliveries by 5:30. The truck full. Loaded with ice on the top cases. Air conditioning not yet in vogue.

Finished and in class at 10. Senior year law classes generally began at 10.

Moved my ass!

Delivered primarily milk. Some chocolate milk and orange juice. All in glass bottles. Packed in wood cases of 24.

One thing few people knew is a milk truck back then was driven standing up. The driver could sit, but it did not work conveniently. Ergo, the seat folded up and rested back.

One pedal was a combination clutch and brake. The first day I was out delivering, I meant to clutch. Press down on the pedal too far and abruptly engaged the brake. The cases of milk stacked behind me flew forward and pinned me against the front window. Fortunately, I was on a dead end street with an empty lot at the end. The truck came to a stop in the lot. Behind me was about 200 feet of broken milk, chocolate and orange bottles strewn in the road. My first thought was how colorful!

I was proud I learned how to drive a milk truck in a short period of time. The first day problem was behind me. I was able to deliver my route swiftly.

One thing that added to my pride was I learned to carry five full bottles of milk in one hand without a carrier. Yes, it could be done. Milk men did it. I had become a milk man.

To answer the title What Ever Happened to the Milk Man? He became a lawyer who 46 years later retired to Key West.

I was at Date & Thyme early yesterday morning before the rain hit. The rain was a welcome relief to the abnormal heat we have been experiencing. It was heavy through mid afternoon.

While enjoying my Monkey Smoothie, a fellow walked up to me as if he knew me and said, “Key West Lou.” It was Jonathan. Jonathan was a bartender briefly many years ago at the Chart Room. Then he moved down the street to the Galleon where he ruled the roost for many years.

We talked about the Chart Room. I advised I had not gone in a couple of years. He was aware. He and his wife Ann had not returned also. Their primary problem was the new customers. They all knew everything about Key West. Especially about Jimmy Buffett. But, they knew “shit.” They told Buffett’s history wrong. They were constantly changing history.

I knew he and Ann had purchased Sarabeth’s many years ago. I have never been a Sarabeth customer. Thought they had sold it. Not so. Still the owners. He is the chef, runs the back. His wife, the front.

His wife Ann came outside and joined us. Her Dad had been general manager of the Pier House for years. She concierge. It was good to see her.

When I begin eating again, I shall become a Sarabeth customer.

In the 30 years I have been a part of Key West and its surrounding areas, Stock Island has grown. From nothing to something.

It now has its own I Love Stock Island Festival.

A big deal!

The Festival will run wednesday through sunday June 12-16.

Unfortunately, there has been a split between U.S. Catholic Bishops and Pope Francis. The American Bishops are “ultra conservative.”

Francis in a 60 Minute interview sunday evening was critical of the Bishops. He labeled them conservatives and defined  a conservative as “one who clings to something and does not want to see beyond that.”

He further described their attitude as “suicidal.”

Francis has been forced to wage a defensive war against the conservative American block.

Windmere High School valedictorian Mariana Nijensohn earned her diploma this month and a UCF degree this month also.

A WOW! Really WOW!

Mariana has had a unique month.  Not only did she graduate Windmere High School, she graduated valedictorian. She also received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Central Florida. Her major was English.

Mariana took enough dual enrollment classes while in high school to earn her B.A. at the same time.

Her ultimate goal is to become a lawyer. However, she wants to get another Bachelor’s degree first. She is going to the University of Pennsylvania  to major in the school’s interdisciplinary major combining philosophy, politics and economics. 

Mariana claims, “I’m a total nerd. I enjoy school.”

Did the two men realize what they had discovered? On this day in 1873, San Francisco businessman Levi Strauss and Reno, Nevada, tailor Jacob Davis, were given a patent to create work pants reinforced with metal rivets. Marked the birth of one of the world’s most famous garments: Blue jeans.

From Lynda Frechette: “Why would we ever trust a train? They have loco – motives.”

Hard to believe! One of the Great Lakes is dying. Lake Erie.

Responsible is the algae bloom that runs from the west of Lake Erie. It sucks oxygen out of the water, makes it impossible for wildlife to live in the lake. Much of the problem is caused by fertilizer that has run into the lake from rivers and, before that, farms.

The lake’s problem a permanent one.

Red Lobster and Applebee have both announced significant store closings. Now comes TGI Fridays announcement it is closing 36 locations.

Enjoy your day!

MILAN IS MAGNIFICENT

Milan is magnificent!

So sayeth I. Many however underrate the city. List it as low as number 6 as an Italian city to see.

True, Rome is incomparable. Following which Milan, Venice, Naples, Florence and Pisa jointly run a second.

I have visited Milan often. It is one of the four fashion capitals of the world. The other three London, New York and Paris. The people of Milan dress fashionably. Men and women alike. A pleasure to watch them walk the streets of Milan in their daily attire.

Milan is the home of da Vinci’s The Last Supper. Painted on a huge concrete wall . Overwhelming!

Then there is the Cathedral Duomo di Milano. The Cathedral is Italy’s second or third largest Church. Holds over 40,000 people.

The Cathedral is located on the Piazza del Duomo. The Piazza itself huge.

One of my visits was in the heart of July. I intentionally went into the Cathedral to escape the sun. European cathedrals are naturally cool.

I fell asleep. Two hours. An attendant woke me to advise “no sleeping.” Embarrassing.

The shopping arcades surrounding certain parts of the Piazza feature the finest stores in the world. Milan’s Fifth Avenue.

Restaurants the very best. In the summer, tables outside.

There is the La Scala Opera House. One of Pavarotti’s favorite places to perform. The Opera House is also well known as having hosted the world premiere of Madame Butterfly.

Another European city is worthy of note today. Santorini.

The USA Today ran a series of pictures of Santorini itself titled The Magical Island of Santorini, Greece. Forty five photos.

The sixth was where I stayed on Oia, Santorini’s special community.

I stayed there 3 consecutive years some 20 years ago. I stayed at the Filotera Suites. A series of caves transformed into a hotel on the side of a tall cliff.

The photo shows wide steps running down to the suites. The cliff faced the volcanic island I tried to climb. The steps to my suite were torture. Even going down. Some 50 to my abode.

The place was beautiful.

The older couple who owned and ran it the best. I stayed 1-2 weeks each time.. The wife treated me like royalty. Fresh fruit and a bottle of their own wine on the table each day. Special foods she cooked for her own family. She even took pity on me and washed and ironed my clothes each day. All at no additional cost.

The couple were typical of Greeks I met. Warm hearted and good.

I am ashamed I cannot remember their names.

We need more Socrates and Plato taught in college. We fell off the cliff when colleges began cutting back on the arts and increased technical studies. Time to readjust a bit. Technical majors make the brain work. Arts make the brain think.

Art majors can handle technical problems. A thinking brain is capable of expanding.

I was a history major. I became an extremely successful environmental attorney. What can be more technical than environmental law?  My mind handled some of the biggest environmental disasters which were loaded with tons of scientific and engineering problems. A field that required a significant understanding of chemistry, biology, physics and mathematics. Courses I had limited exposure to in college. My history developed mind handled them all. Difficult at first. Became second nature in due course.

What is going on? Red Lobster going under. Closing 100 restaurants and applying for bankruptcy protection.  Now revealed Applebee is closing 35 locations. It closed 46 restaurants last year.

Sometimes it takes a long time to reveal a truthful interesting factor.

This one is 96 years old. Involves Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse.

Walt Disney was a struggling producer. Hurting money wise. Early in May 1928, Disney “took a shot.” No one had ever heard of Mickey Mouse. He ran a short film of Mickey Mouse called “Plane Crazy” wherein Mickey was learning to be an aviator. The short film was unannounced. It saved Disney’s financial ass. Unbeknownst to the public, he had been suffering for 2 months to come up with a winner. Those 2 months have been described as “frantic” involving betrayal and secrecy as Disney struggled to save his company.

It worked! God bless Mickey Mouse! God less Walt Disney for all he joy he brought us!

Xander Schauffele won the PGA. He won by draining a dramatic birdie on 18 to win his first major.

Enjoy your day!

BIDEN AND THE BLACK VOTE

Blacks are leaning against Biden. They have failed to learn that you do not bite the hand that feeds you. 

I find it hard to understand. Put aside that Trump is anti-Black. He lies to the contrary and many Black voters buy it.

Biden in 3 1/2 years has already installed more non-White federal judges than any Presidnet in history. Also, more female. More than 6 in 10 Biden appointments are women. 

Re the White appointments, Trump’s were 65 percent of those he appointed. Biden’s only 13 percent.

Number wise, Biden’s non-White appointments are 125, Trump’s were 37. Biden’s Whites 72, Trump’s 200.

The numbers speak for themselves. Black America should understand them.

Paul Pelosi’s attacker was sentenced to 30 years in jail. Well deserved!

A major unanswered question is why men’s shirts button on the right and women’s on the left.

No one knows for sure. Theories abound, however. Atlantic’s Megan Garber in 2015 described the buttoning as “a weird thing. The button differential is a relic of an old tradition that we have ported, rather unthinkingly, into the contemporary world.”

An old custom that has survived.

There are several theories. The one that has maintained the most credibility since the Middle Ages involves how middle and upper class European women used to dress. Their dresses were complicated and elaborate. More so than men’s attire. 

Wealthy women were dressed by servants. Servants were primarily right handed. It was easier for them to  button up their mistresses if the buttons were on the opposite left side. So buttons began being sewed on the opposite side.

Why has the tradition carried into the modern era? No special reason. No one noticed or complained.

One other reason involved breast feeding. Mothers were more likely to hold their babies with their left hand, leaving the right hand free for blouse opening.

Bottom line, women’s buttons on the left side is an old design quirk which has become just another sartorial custom.

As for men, sword drawing was a consideration. Sword on the left. Right hand remained free to draw the sword.

A final consideration is that 90 percent of the people in the world are right handed. They have been so for hundreds of years.

Somebody made a mistake. Mistake in selecting the person to make a college commencement address.

Benedictine College is operated by nuns. The Sisters of Mount St. Scholastics. Harrison Butler was the commencement speaker.

His words totally contrary to the beliefs of the nuns and institution. He railed against LGBTQ + pride, women in the work force, and abortion access. He told the women graduating that they “have had the most diabolical lies told to you.” He added, “Homemaker is one of the most important titles of all.”

Harrison Butker is an American Football kicker. Plays with the Kansas City Chiefs.. He is second in NFL history in career field goal percentages with 89.1.

How many Keys in Florida? Interesting question. Even I wanted to know.

The Florida Keys are made up of over 1700 small islands. Eight hundred are referred to as Keys. Forty three are connected by bridges.

The question arises as to what defines a Key as opposed to an island?

The answer: Keys do not generally have fresh water. Islands do. Also significantly, a key is a small, low-lying coral island. Like all coral islands, Keys are remnants of ancient coral reefs. Many of the Keys are still ringed by healthy reef ecosystems. Over time, the top of the coral reef is exposed to the surface.

The Preakness was won by Seize The Grey whose odds were 12-1. Kentucky Derby Winner Mystik Dan was favored, however finished second.

Seize the Grey is trained by D. Wayne Lucas. I view his victory with a hope springs eternal adage following his name. He is 88 years old. Is anything left for me?

Harvard has done what many other universities have not. They have taken the step of punishing some of those students involved in the protests by preventing 12 of them from graduating at Commencement.

In addition to the 12, 5 other students were suspended, 20 placed on probation.

I have been severely criticized by some for being opposed to the student protests. It is they that criticize me that are wrong.

They appear to be adults who see an intelligence level in the students qualifying them to not only verbally protest, but to disrupt classes, pitch tents, take over buildings, be anti-Semitic, etc. They view the students as “brilliant.” 

I cannot recall any adult commenting about non-students and Chinese motivating the students and the students buying what they were selling.

My belief is is that if the students were so smart, why did they let others use them. Did they know? If not, even worse.

Trump had trouble with the podium in St. Paul friday night. He leaned on it too hard and it tilted. He did, also. Called the workers who put up the stage “crappy.”

He acted in a very humorous fashion. Even I laughed. Not at him, with him.

Trump was an excellent comedian at the moment. Unfortunately for him, America is not looking for a comedian. It is looking for a leader.

I was viewing some photos of old Key West. One was taken around 1952. A photo of the “new” Dairy Queen on United Street.

Still the same!

An example of women being discriminated against in Key West. On this day in 1906, Key West Police Justice George G. Brooks fixed things for women in this respect.

A Key West ordinance outlawed women from entering barrooms or buying liquor. The Justice declared the ordinance unconstitutional. 

The Southernmost Point Monument was dedicated September 10, 1983. Basically looks the same today as when dedicated.

Whoever thought it would become as popular as it has.

I close with Jimmy Buffett.

I came across a note written by Jimmy Buffett on October 22, 1989. The body handprinted. His signature handwritten.

In it he thanked Key West for its AIR CONDITIONED library. Spelled out the time he spent reading about old Key West. He complimented the quality and spread of reading materials. However pointed out it was the air conditioning that drew him to the library.

Enjoy your day!

AMORGOS

Eco Lodges Anywhere featured an article listing the 15 hidden gem Greek islands. Islands people might want to visit to beat mass tourism.

One of the islands is Amorgos. My Amorgos. My favorite. A nothing. Which makes it “the best!”

The ferry boat comes in once a week. No airport. The ferry boat the only way on and off the island. On the island, transportation primarily by foot.

Everything one hundred years ago.

Dramatic sea views. Mysterious caves. A different kind of architecture. 

Laid back.

Crashing waves and blissful hiking trails.

Few people. Very few people. Even with visitors.

Fishermen go out in the morning in beat up old row boats with a motor on the back.

Everyone dresses in black.

The island small, but loaded with culture and tradition.

I love it!

Two former major nations that failed to live up to their predictions.

The Roman Empire would last forever. It lasted a thousand years. Nazi Germany was to last 1,000 years. It lasted 12 years.

I have complained of the heat for 7 days. So have my friends. It is a fact. Today is expected to be the worst. In certain parts of South Florida, “feels like” temperatures of 113 degrees or higher are expected. Palm and Broward Counties expected to reach that level.

Overall night temperature for the areas this time of year is 74 degrees. Last night was expected to hit around 80 degrees.

Key West will be abnormally hotter, though no temperature published.

The reason for the abnormal heat is the wind which is coming at us out of the south. Normally comes at us from the east.

Dangerous weather. Remain inside. Enjoy air conditioning.

Free speech is All-American. Unquestionably important.

Trump continues to claim he will deport “all American protesters.” He is the biggest enemy of free speech in the country.

And he wants to be Presidnet?

Preakness today. The race 6:50 pm. Kentucky Derby winner Mystik Dan favored. 

Republicans continue to knock the economy. They lie. And then lie some more. The sadness of it is that many Americans believe them.

The truth. The DOW closed yesterday above 40,000 for the first time. It briefly passed 40,000 thursday, but fell back before closing. Yesterday it crossed and closed over 40,000.

I was store shopping in the Winn-Dixie Shopping Center yesterday afternoon. Ran into a family of 2 parents and 5 children. The oldest child could not have been more than 6. Five children in six years.

The couple young. I asked the father if they were all his children. He proudly said, “Yes!”

Reminded me of our family. We had 4 children in 5 years. Would have been 5 in 5, but we lost the last one.

It takes a good woman to raise that size family who are so close in ages. We started our family when I was in law school. Pure insanity! Then they started coming, One after another. This was back in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. My wife was a “good  Catholic” and refused to practice birth control.

I was little help in raising the children in their early years. My responsibility was to feed them. I was working day and night and weekends to build a law practice. The responsibility fell on my wife. She did an excellent job.

Red Lobster bankruptcy news continues. The “successful” restaurant chain is going under because of the “endless shrimp.”

Enjoy your day!