My dear friend Jean Thornton and her husband Joe are on a 1 month European vacation.

A fantastic couple. Jean especially. No disrespect Joe. She is a special woman.

Jean has provided us with photos and comment about the trip so far. The portion they are in is a boat trip on certain rivers which takes them through many cities. Jena’s 2 Facebook messages I have received indicate that she and Joe have already dione Amsterdam and Cologne.

A cheap trip this is not. European river boat cruises are top shelf with corresponding costs. Not everything provided, however.

I forget whether Amsterdam or Cologne, Jean wrote she was taking clothes with her that had to be washed. Would you believe! No washers/dryers on board for paying guests.

I am sure carry, clean and return did not bother Jean. Nothing bothers her. She goes with the flow and enjoys life.

She understands also the need to periodically clean clothes.

My escape from Irma found me at Jean and Joe’s home in Birmingham. Twelve days. Who had enough clothes. I did not realize I would be away that long.

Jean washed and dried my shirts. Everyone else’s, also.

Special? You better believe it!

Sloan came over at 1. We had several things to do. Technical. She knows the computer/internet end of things. We got a lot done in a short time.

Spent the balance of yesterday afternoon watching the final round of the BMW Tournament. Justin Thomas won. A big deal! Picks up around $1 million for the tournament. Places him in #1 position for the Fed Ex portion which begins next week. The winner gets $10 million.

Dinner last night at La Trattoria. Bar almost empty. Restaurant, also. The town is dead likewise. I suspect because it is that time. The kids have returned to school. Mom and Dad are broke. Spent money on summer vacations for the family and new school clothes for the children.

Another 4-6 weeks things will return to booming.

It was good to see Tiffany again. We go back 25 years to Antonia’s when she was bartending there.

The History Section of this morning’s Key West Citizen notes that on this day in 1952, the population of Key West was 26,433. Not including Navy personnel and dependents.

I thought the number strange. My recollection was the population of Key West today is around that number. I checked it out. I was correct. The last census of Key West indicated a population of 25,208.

The number makes sense. Key West is a tourist town. Most people come to visit, not stay. Another consideration is Key West is a tiny island. 1/2 x 4 miles. Can only hold so many homes and the utilities necessary to service the homes.

Haward (spelled correctly) McKee is a Key West friend. Met him through Jean Thornton. He was one of the Irma escapees staying at Jean’s home also. Howard ran 2 pics with comments underneath on today’s Facebook.

One was a photo of Obama. Underneath was printed: When you know your shit. The other was a photo of Trump. Underneath was printed: When you know you’re shit.

A great find Haward!

Sharks are a major problem this summer at Cape Cod beaches. Including Great Whites. There have a number of attacks  on both man and large fish. Many of the beaches have been shut down several hours at a time.

Sharks are the new normal. They are everywhere.

In my other life, I spent 10 days to 2 weeks every summer in Chatham. Loved the Cape.

One summer, sharks were a problem. The first time at the time to my recollection. We were periodically pulled out of the water by life guards because of a shark scare. I asked one of the life guards how they could tell. It seems small fish run near the top in large numbers. Sharks come up from underneath and gobble them up. Whenever a large area of ripples appeared, it was for sure caused by the little fish. If they were there, the sharks were also.

On my Greece trips, I have visited Santorini several times. One of the most beautiful places in the world. I would sit outside my room which was carved out of the side of the cliff. Drink in hand, umbrella over my head, I would see several other Santorini islands split from the original Santorini during a massive volcanic explosion around 1500 B.C., if I recall correctly.

Navel contemplation time. God was in his Heaven, all was right right with the world.

The volcano part of Santorini sat before me a couple of miles out. It its blacken majesty.

I decided to climb the volcano. Took the boat trip over. There were about 50 of us. We had a guide. A volcano is a mass of black coal. No other way to describe. Think of one small piece in your hand. Multiply its size hundred thousands of times.

I wanted to be in front when we go to the top. I wanted to look into the belly of the volcano. So I started directly in back of the guide. A relatively narrow path up.

After a while, I was in the middle of the group. then at the end. Then one of the stragglers. Then the last straggler.

No way was I going to make it. Heart attack time! Pure exhaustion!. I sat on a rock and rejoined the group on the trip back.

All this shared with you as a prelude to St. Helena Island.

Never visited there. Merely read about it.

A portion of St. Helena is a volcano. Best described as a “volcanic outcrop.”

Its claim to fame Napoleon was exiled there.

St. Helena is 2,500 miles east of South America, 1,210 west of Africa.

Very much out of the way from everything. The shortest route obviously a boat trip from Africa. Five days.

St. Helena decided it needed an airport. They completed a first class one in August 2017. Could handle the big planes. Problem is air traffic to St. Helena is next to non existent.

I was motivated to write about St. Helena and Santorini together because of some photos I saw of the volcano portion of St, Helena. Exactly like it was with Santorini!

Google St. Helena and take a look at the photos of the volcano. If you are of the generation that had no need to deal with coal, you will see what a big piece of coal looks like.

Donna is on a Caribbean cruise with her granddaughter. Terri here in Key West. By choice.

Terri’s life must go on. I am the designated chauffeur/driver this week. Tonight she and I will do Dueling Bartenders. Terri singing. Then dinner at the bar at Antonia’s.

Enjoy your day!





      • Did I say he posted? I said it is back. I can access it instead of getting the error page over the last couple of days. Lou will post again once Sloan updates his web page. Patience.

  1. China has bigger fish to fry than the building of a military. Huge, expensive military establishments like we have are an anachronism. Any future warfare will be economic. All a country needs to have a seat at the big boy table now days are a few nukes and the means to deliver them. We are the only ones who just don’t get it. We should spend all that money on taking better care of the vets we already have.

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