Joe Manchin is returning to the limelight. 

He is up for reelection in West Virginia in 2024. A Republican state. Manchin is the last major Democratic office holder in West Virginia. He has a battle on his hands.

West Virginia is a coal state. Manchin politically and for his pocketbook a coal supporter. He does not support Biden’s plan to limit greenhouse pollution for existing power plants.

Check out the monies he and his family make from coal involved enterprises. Also look back a few years to see the millions his daughter made in the pharmaceutical field.

Manchin is flexing his power again. He has vowed to  oppose all of Biden’s EPA nominees. Spelled it out clearly: Each and every nominee.

Frank Sinatra died on yesterday’s date in 1998 at 82 of a heart attack. One of the greats in the musical and acting fields. He did it “his way.”

The AT&T Byron Nelson Golf Tournament was won yesterday by Jason Day. His first win in 5 years. Vertigo and back problems had affected his play.

This year however he began playing better in each succeeding tournament. The writing was on the wall. It was just a question of time before he would be a winner again.

His victory the 13th of his career. His pay day $1.7 million.

The photo is of me with my good friend Greece’s Theos Markis. Taken about 3 weeks ago in the parking lot of 24 North. The painting of course a Jack Baron one. Theos’ wife Dina the photographer.

Theos and Dina are world travelers. Visit Key West at least twice a year.

Theos a collector. He has paintings from all over the world. He has visited every art gallery in Key West to Islamorada over the years. Knows dealers and artists intimately.

I turned Theos on to Jack Baron.

Note the painting in the photo is framed. Rarely did Baron frame his works as we understand framing. Jack was frugal. Frames were expensive and a lot of work, expensive to ship because of weight, etc. So he changed his modus operandi. He bought thin strips of wood and made the frames. He purchased rolls of canvas and applied them to the thin light frames he had put together. 

When he painted, he painted covering the frames so the frame appeared part of the painting. Check out the other Baron paintings I have recently shown to fully understand.

The painting in the photo was done in 1991. The frame wood. Jack painted it brown. Over the years it has dried out and sliver pieces were falling out.

Theos has taken the painting back to Greece with him to reframe. 


Key West Lou


Rumor has it Syracuse’s new basketball coach Adrian Autry is abandoning the zone defense and will play man to man.

It is time.

Boeheim should have abandoned his famed “zone defense” several years ago. He had relied on it forever with great success till recent years. However, opposing coaches finally figured out how to beat the zone. Thereby causing Syracuse to have terrible seasons in recent years.

Republicans are putting our standard of living at risk. They appear to have convinced themselves a sovereign default is no big deal.

Well, here is what will happen if there is a government default.

   *   The dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency would be thrashed, Republicans are playing Russian roulette. Russia and China will strongly benefit.

   *   Inflation would spike.

   *   Interest rates rise.

   *   Social Security payments stop.

   *   Medicare payments stop.

   *   Military and government employees not paid.

   *   Businesses will not be able to borrow operating capital from banks.

   *   A world wide recession.

The cuts the Republicans want in existing programs would hurt the poor and middle class, while at the same time benefit corporations and the wealthy.

The debt ceiling is a problem with dire consequences. Republicans don’t seem to care. If they succeed, no question it will hurt Biden and the Democrat Party. 

People do not seem to understand the problem. If the ceiling collapses, they will. To everyone’s detriment.

Republicans will suffer greatly. Americans are not stupid, though in many instances it takes time for them to understand what is going on. The American people will see fault lies with the Republicans. They will remember for a generation to come. It will take forever for the Republican Party to return to favor.

Another doctor visit today at 1. Heart doctor. Echo test results not good. Next step? Getting old does have its drawbacks.

Enjoy your day!


I am 87 years old. Think I have learned all there is to know. Not the case. Living and learning continues.

I am a product of a Catholic education. Grammar school, high school and college. Studied the Bible in college for a whole year. Two semesters of the Old and New Testaments. Yet it was only yesterday I learned the real name of the Lord’s Son was not Jesus. It was Yehoshu’a or Yeshua for short. His real name having been lost in translation.

History teaches the following. Which is based on language in the Bible and history of how translation affected Jesus’ name.

The Bible was first written in Hebrew. Jesus referred to in that Bible as Yehoshu’a. The first biblical translation was from Hebrew into Greek, not English. The Greek alphabet does not have an “sh” sound, however. An “s” was substituted.

The Romans got involved next. They “Romanized” the Bible. The Romanized version was Lesous. Lesous when translated into English became Jesus. That is how we who speak English refer to God’s Son as Jesus. Again, any confusion the fault of translation.

Historians agree with the translation line presented here.

How about “Christ?”

Complexity here also.

In Hebrew, Yeshua Bar Yehosef means “Jesus, son of Joseph.” Or, Yeshua Nasraya meaning “Jesus of Nazareth.”

Actually, the addition of Christ to Jesus’ name came from the Greek word meaning “anointed one.”

Reaching Jesus’ name a wild trip! 

Today a special one. Mother’s Day.

I miss my Mother. It has been many many years, yet I think of her almost every day. Too bad mothers cannot lock in at a certain age and remain with us all our lives.

Things are changing in Key West. Returning to where they were.

Pre-COVID, Key West was a seasonal community. Three to four months beginning in January. Ending Easter Sunday. Traffic an abomination during that time. Tons of tourists. Reservations difficult in restaurants. Bars packed tight.

Following Easter Sunday, it was as if most of the people in town had died. It was quiet. Little traffic. Always a table available in a restaurant.

Then came COVID. People who wanted to vacation and were limited where they could go, came to Key West. The crowd did not disperse however following Easter Sunday. They kept coming. Through the summer. Every month packed.

I hated it. My home town was not the island I had enjoyed for many years.

Change has arrived again, however. Easter Sunday is behind us. Key West is quiet. Like the old days. I can go anywhere in town in 10 minutes by car. During the COVID years, it took 20-30 minutes.

God is good!

There was a saying pre-COVID that Key West from July through September was so desolate you could throw a bowling ball down Duval and hit no one. I am curious to what those month will be like this year.

Enjoy your Sunday! Those that have mothers in town, enjoy them. Your time together is not forever.















Exceptionally big news the past few days involves immigration. Time to share the story of an immigrant I knew well. My Mother.

My Mother was born in Foggia, Italy. She was brought to the U.S. as an infant.

Mom was the eighth child in a family of eight. The last of the line. The 7 siblings preceding her were all boys. Her parents felt lucky they had finally produced a girl. They named her Fortunata. Fortunata is Italian for Fortune. Her nickname was Nettie and we all knew her as Nettie.

The family settled in New York City. Mom made it through the third grade. Then she had to quit school and go to work. Money a major issue. She went to work in a shoe factory 14 hours a day, 6 days a week. Never returned to school.

My Father was born and raised in Utica, N.Y. For some reason, he ended up in New York City when he was around 20. Met Mom when he was working as a soda jerk in a drug store. They fell in love, married and moved to Utica to live.

The photograph is my Mother. She had it taken and gave it to Dad as her engagement gift to him.



My Mother never returned to school.

She initially worked in the knitting mills in Utica. Most of the immigrants did. At some point, she went to work for two Italian-American doctors who had voluminous practices. She was their only employee for 20 plus years. Did everything. Receptionist, drew blood, cleaned ears, bandaged minor wounds, etc. She performed amazingly for a person with no education.

One doctor died and and the other retired. Her next job was working for a dentist. He was a sole practitioner. She worked for him for 20 years. His sole employee. Again, she was receptionist and did everything a dental assistant does today. Worked right at the dentist’s elbow.

Pretty good for a person with only a third grade education! As I got older, I became more and more proud of her accomplishments. She was a good  mother besides.

Needless to say, she was an excellent grandmother.

When she retired, I had reached the point of being a successful lawyer. I came to appreciate her even more at that stage of my life. We had a routine. I stopped by her home on my way home most days. She had a bottle of Beefeaters, ice cubes and a glass sitting on the kitchen table. She never drank. It was for me. I would have a drink or two and we would talk primarily about me and my family. 

She was a wise woman. Always sharing her wisdom with me. If I complained about something, she would tell me not to and explain why. I always left her feeling better than when I arrived.

She died early in her 70’s. A diabetic, she never took care of herself. Refused to diet. Always sneaking foods she should not eat. She was shooting herself with insulin in her stomach twice a day when she passed on.

Her life was a good one for an uneducated immigrant. She never complained. The family was everything. She was always there for us. I think of her often and still miss her after all these years.

Tallahassee is a world away. Too far from Key West and most other parts of Florida to decide local matters. Yet this is exactly what the governor and state legislature continue to do. Matters involving cruise ships allowed to dock, fertilizer, etc. They want to rule the roost.

The Citizens’ Voice today reflected the most recent DeSantis faux pas: “I want to thank the governor and legislature for preempting local control on fertilizer. Now the red tide can flourish, sargassum can completely overwhelm the state, the remaining healthy reef can die, and our waters can become even more polluted.”

The Editorial Board of the Key West Citizen got involved in the issue today in its Cheers and Jeers column: “Jeers: For the state’s continued preemption of local governments’ abilities to set rules and regulations based on conditions in respective counties. The constant overreach by state government has become a nuisance at least, and a possible harbinger of lost freedoms.”

More DeSantis bullshit! He signed a bill into law thursday that keeps his travel records secret. Past and future travel records.

What does he fear? Floridians have a right to know about his travels. Especially if they pay for them. He travels on their tax dollars.

What is wrong with the man?

Included in the new secrecy law are his immediate family, lieutenant governor, cabinet members, House Speaker, Senate President, and Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court.

Do they all wish to be Clarence Thomas’s?

If they wish to be secretive, let them pay for the tickets, hotel expenses, etc. on their own nickel rather than with tax dollars.

Hulk Hogan and Bobby Mongelli became good friends at some point back when.

On this day in 1997, Hulk was making the movie Shadow of Warriors’ Assault on Devils Island. The movie was being filmed in Key West. Then and when he visits Key West, Hulk parks his boat at Bobby’s Hogfish on Stock Island, dines with Bobby, etc. As friends do.

Bess Levin wrote about Trump’s sexual machinations while in the White House in her Vanity Fair 5/10 article: “Surprise: Ex-White House Employees Say Donald Trump Behaved Grossly With Women While President.”

Examples include one staffer who Trump was so inappropriate with that others tried to insure he was “never alone” with her.

Levin wrote, “If you’re wondering whether Trump – now a certified sexual predator – refrained from behaving inappropriately with women while he was serving as President, the answer is: ‘Of course he didn’t!'” The answer rings with the false consistency his own answers do..

One staffer thought the way Trump engaged with women was “dangerous.”

The man has no control. Makes Clinton’s actions look like kid stuff.

Enjoyed a long slow lunch with Steve Thompson yesterday at La Te Da. Love listening to Steve share his recollections of Key West. Key West was home to him from the mid 1970’s.

Enjoy your day!


Mother’s Day is Sunday. What mothers will get are flowers and brunch. Not what they want this year.

Mothers know best. What they prefer is safety for children.


Yesterday, a haircut with Lori. Always pleasant because Lori is pleasant.

Followed by lunch at Hogfish. Ate at the bar as usual. Waited on by Julia as usual.

I met Lori and Julia at the same time some 25 years ago. Lori was  a hairdresser and Julia a manicurist. Both working at the Casa Marina. Both wonderful women.

Lunch at 1 today with Steve Thompson at Louie’s Backyard. Louie’s is Steve’s favorite place. His “hangout” in the 1970’s when he first arrived in Key West.

The U.S. Navy’s newest guided missile destroyer the USS Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee will be commissioned tomorrow at 10 am in Key West. At the Outer Mole Pier. Two thousand five hundred attendees expected. No tickets for the event remain.

The Higbee has a crew of 350.

Following commissioning, the Higbee will set sail for its new home port in San Diego. The trip to San Diego will be made through the Panama Canal.

I recently wrote of Picasso’s blue period and Baron’s gold one. I share with you today from my collection two of Baron’s gold ones.




On this day in 1986, the movie Top Gun starring Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis had its world premiere in New York City.

Kelly and her husband Fred Tillman settled in Key West. Purchased several restaurants. The first and most famous Kelly’s Caribbean Bar and Brewery at 301 Whitehead. Kelly’s became one of Key West’s best and most popular restaurants.

Kelly and Fred were my neighbors in Key Haven.

At some point, they divorced. Fred remained and Kelley moved north somewhere. Kelly still returns each year for the Kelly McGillis Women’s Flag Football Championships. Thirty teams from around the world come to Key West to participate.

I have not seen Fred since COVID began. I believe he still resides in Key West. The last time I saw him was at one of David Wolkowsky’s birthday parties.

Shades of Carl von Cosel and Elaine de Hoyos. 

A man kept his father’s dead body in a freezer for 18 months in Laudgraaf, the Netherlands.

The father died at 101. The son 81 at the time. The son told the police: I “did not want to let him go, or I would miss him.” He wanted to “continue to talk to him.”

The CNN Town Hall starring Donald Trump Wednesday night was a Trumpfomercial. Even many of the CNN staff were upset in that it gave Trump a platform to lie to a large audience.

Turns out CNN has a new CEO/owner who is an ultraconservative. He wanted to boost CNN’s income and ratings – both of which have been dwindling.

Oliver Darcy is a CNN media reporter. He wrote afterwards that it was “hard to see how America was served by the spectacle of lies that aired on CNN.”

Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus wrote about Justice Alito in an article today: “The Aggrieved Justice Alito Points Fingers But Offers No Proof.”

She refers to Alito as “thin-skinned and injudicious.” Notes others who mention Alito as “aggrieved” and “bitter.”

My opinion: All comments right on. The man’s sharp tongue has replaced his written word. His mind is slipping and has been slipping for several years. He should follow his buddy Clarence Thomas off the Court.

Cheaper eggs are on the way. The Department of Agriculture indicates a sharp drop in the wholesale prices retailers are paying for eggs. Claim the price has fallen $ .78 per dozen in the first week of May as opposed to a peak of $5.30 at the end of last year. 

The overall wholesale drop in 2023 expected to be 30 percent.

Not enough! Still too expensive!

Enjoy your day!



I got to watch half of Trump’s lying devious performance on the CNN Town Hall in New Hampshire last night. The first half I was finishing up a most enjoyable dinner at La Te Da with my good friends Don and Chris from Syracuse. They return home sunday.

Trump out did himself lying. Something I did not believe possible. Wasn’t he raised to tell the truth? The lies flowed like Niagara Falls. One after another, with rapidity.

The essence of the United States will be destroyed if Trump is reelected. It will not survive another 4 years of him. The fortunate thing is I doubt he will be reelected. The American people are not stupid. They do not have a death wish. I doubt he will even be the Republican candidate. By the time the election rolls around, Trump will be a man with a criminal record. He will have one or two convictions and other charges still pending against him.

Trump’s audience last night was Republican. Intended to be undecided Republicans. By design. CNN planned it that way. Don’t think it worked out as planned. Sounded to me like a very pro Trump crowd.

Some of Trumps lies, misstatements, etc. included jokes he made about E. Jean Carroll who he had been convicted of civilly sexually abusing and defaming in a federal court in New York the day before. Additionally, he deflected blame for January 6 from himself, continued to refuse to concede he lost the election to Biden, and said he would pardon many of the rioters, 

Consistently refused to say whether he wanted Ukraine or Russia to win the war, said the Republicans should blow up the debt ceiling, he would reinstate his family separation immigration policy, require people to have voter ID (something they already must have), blamed Pelosi for the January 6 violence, denied asking Georgia Secretary of State Raffensberger “to find anything,” and claimed only a couple of January 6 rioters “probably got out of control.”

He called a police officer who on January 6 shot a pro Trump supporter “a thug,” claims he was entitled to remove/take documents from the White House, misspoke re monies other nations have provided Ukraine in supporting Ukraine in the war with Russia, claimed he finished the border wall with Mexico when 280 miles of the border still lacks a wall, accused Democrats and Hillary Clinton of being willing to “kill the baby in the ninth month,” claims he gave the largest tax cuts, does not believe Pence was in danger on January 6, and continued to represent many illegal votes were cast in Wisconsin where subsequent investigation revealed basically none were.

That’s “our man.” The one who wants to represent America again. Americans have to be out of their minds to reelect him!

Have to hustle. Haircut with Lori at noon.

Enjoy your day!


Jack Baron was my friend. A Key West friend.

I met Jack in the late 1900’s. I was an early morning walker. My trips began at the Duval Square parking lot. Jack’s gallery at the time was part of Duval Square. I was also an art collector. Jack’s art turned me on.

My first stop each morning and for many years thereafter was at Jack’s gallery from whence he painted and sold his works. Jack had some old parlor chairs sitting around. Each morning about 6 of us would show up and solve the world’s problems for an hour or two.

One of Jack’s works especially appealed to me. His Black Madonna and Child. I did not purchase it immediately. Considered it too expensive. $4,500. Others must have also. No one bought it for the two years I hungered for it. I finally did buy out of fear someone else would.



More of me, Jack and my collection of his works later on. First, Jack’s story.

Jack was born in 1926, died in 2005. He grew up in Rockaway Beach in Queens. The poor man’s Hamptons.

He began college during World War II. After the war, he finished college at NYU obtaining a degree in Business Management. Along the way, he met Bob Burton. They hit it off and were partners for 52 years till Jack passed on. Their early New York City years together had to be a ball.

Several times they told the story of how they saw all the Broadway shows in the early ’50’s when they could ill afford it. They saw the shows without paying. Half of each show. They would wait till intermission and when everyone walked out, they would walk in. They stood in the back to watch the reminder of each show.

Jack developed a design talent of sorts. While still in New York he was doing display and design work for Macy’s and Lord & Taylor.

Jack and Bob relocated to Key West in the mid 1970’s. They ended up living and working out of an antique store they opened on Truman and Windsor Lane. Near St. Mary of the Sea Catholic Church. They called their antique business Carrie’s Notion Antique Shop. The “antiques” they originally sold were stuff they had brought with them from New York, but did not have use for in Key West.

When Jack and Bob purchased gifts for each other on holidays, birthdays, etc., the gifts were nothing special. Generally inexpensive. In 1977. Bob gave Jack an acrylic paint set as a birthday present. A no big deal item. Jack however put it to use.

At the time the antique shop was located in a black neighborhood. The store at a bus stop. Jack had been watching the neighbors walk around, wait for the bus and so on. He began to paint them using the cheap acrylic set. His style simple. Best described as his own brand of unpredictable pointillism. 

His subjects black people, conch houses, roosters and cats. Always whimsical.

He was 51 when he started painting.

The back room became a small art gallery. Paintings did not sell. Jack not concerned. He was having fun. He just kept turning them out. Especially black women with colorful headgear.

Marion Stevens was the owner of a Duval Street gallery.  She stopped into the antique shop one day and spotted the paintings in the back. She immediately bought 10 at $100 a piece. Wrote Jack a check for $1,000 on the spot. Jack and Bob thought they had died and gone to Heaven!

Stevens sold all 10 paintings within a few days. She returned and made a deal with Jack.  Told him to begin painting and she would give him a show. He was a winner! Right she was. Jack did 50 paintings for his first show. Stevens called the show “A Star Is Born.”

All 50 paintings sold out. The rest is history.

In addition to the acrylics, Jack did needlepoint tapestries. If he was specially enamored with one of his works, he would spend a year sitting in his living room at night watching TV and doing a needlepoint work of the painting.  

My collection consists of 13 acrylics and 2 needlepoint tapestries. Jack sold over 4,000 paintings over his lifetime. The acrylics sold between $3,500 and $4,500. The tapestries were something special and sold for $10,000 a piece. I have two I am proud of. One is Adam and Eve in the Garden of Paradise. the other his mother, done in black, in a flowing red gown.

The Custom House did an exhibit of Jack’s needlepoint tapestries several years after his death. I was proud two of mine where shown. I understand the showing had the largest attendance of any at the Custom House up to that time.

Jack had a way of toying with people. He “toyed” with me once. I did not call him on it. I had too much respect for him. Better he walked around thinking he had fooled me.

The issue involved Jack’s use of gold paint. Tons of it! Dots all over the place or solid several inch border trims on most of his paintings. I asked him once why so much use of gold. He asked if I was familiar with Pablo Picasso’s blue period. I was not. He then went on to explain that Picasso had the opportunity to purchase a lot of blue paint cheap. He did. Then spent several years using it up.

Jack said he got a deal on gold paint and was still using it. He was still painting with gold at the time of his death.

Realizing Jack was a joker of sorts, I checked out the Picasso story on the internet when I got home. Jack was playing games. Picasso did have a blue period. However the reason was he had emotional problems and financial difficulties which led him to paint blue. He felt blue!

Jack and Bob threw dinner parties. Small and Large. I suspect the parties were more Jack’s idea. He enjoyed entertaining and being entertained.

Dinner parties were his forte. Small ones. Four or five couples. One night each person had a small standing rack of lamb. I was impressed. Jack was happy to share his secret for preparation. He bought the racks already prepared at Outback. Heated them immediately before dinner. Another time we enjoyed a large stuffed turkey. A Thanksgiving meal in effect. Jack had purchased the turkey and all that went with it . Merely heated the turkey a bit before serving.

I recall an evening where he and Bob had a cocktail party for at least 100 persons. Preparations easy. Jack went through 15 five pound tins of beluga caviar.

To know Jack was t love him. Bob, as well.

I have a habit I developed more than 60 years ago. I infrequently visit the graves of family and persons I consider I was close to. A short conversation graveside. Sounds whacky. Not. Good for the soul.

Jack is buried in the Southern Keys Cemetery on Big Coppitt. Bob next to him, of course. I visited with Jack a few times when he was alone and both Jack and Bob thereafter. Not often. Once every one or two years.

Don’t laugh. Every now and then when I look up on a clear evening and see the sky ablaze with stars, I am reminded of Jack’s multitude of gold dots. He touched me.


Bess Levin referred to Ron DeSantis in a recent article as an “incredible jerk.”

So he is!

His 2024 prospects are rapidly dwindling. Anyone who is stupid enough to take on Mickey Mouse is not mentally equipped to be President.

On this day in 1960, the FDA approved the birth control pill. The U.S. was the first country to legalize the pill.

Beware! Banning the pill’s sale in the U.S. could be a “natural extension” of the overall banning of matters involving a woman’s reproductive rights. Don’t say oh! it couldn’t happen, the pill has been around for 60 years. Roe v. Wade was around for 50. It happened!

Some Texas observations.

The Allen mall shooting was saturday.

A retired police and military officer was first on the scene. The actual first responder. He was responding to a telephone call from his son who was working at a store in the mall. He was in his car nearby and immediately drove over.

His first observations mind blowing.

He saw what he thought was a woman hunched over. Went to help her. Turned her around. Her face was totally blown off. Only her brain exposed.

He saw a child lying under 2 adults. The adults were dead. The child was 4 or 5 years old. Totally covered in blood. He could not tell if it was a boy or girl.

I could not determine from the facts released if the child was dead or alive.

The shooter Mauricio Garcia, age 33. A Nazi at heart. A supporter of Nazi ideology. He used an AR-15 style rifle. What else? He had purchased it legally in Texas where it is extremally easy to buy all type guns. Multiple weapons were also found in his car. Also purchased legally, of course.

Texas governor Greg Abbott continues to avoid the “gun issue” in commenting on the Allen shooting. He claims the cause was “anger” and “mental health.”

 A distraction. An intentional one. When are human lives going to take on an importance over guns in Texas and the rest of the U.S.?

Repeating myself with a refrain I have been using frequently of late, the solution is to vote Republicans out of office. Crazy to return them to office. All they’re good for are prayers and sorrow. Not correcting the problem.

Sunday was more Texas killings. In Brownsville. Not with a gun, however. A motor vehicle. An SUV. The SUV ended up in an immigrant shelter. Eight persons killed, ten injured.

George Alvarez the operator of the vehicle, age 34. Alive. He has been charged with 8 counts of manslaughter and numerous counts of aggravated assault. Bail set at $3.6 million.

Alvarez had an extensive rap sheet including assault and driving while intoxicated.

Re the event, he ran a red light, lost control, the vehicle flipped on its side and hit 18 people. He tried to flee the scene, but was detained by bystanders.

Specific cause of the crash still under investigation.

How a great one became activated/motivated to do better. Ernest Hemingway: “For a long time now I have tried simply to write the best I can. Sometimes I have good luck and write better than I can.”

There was the Phantom of the Opera. Now, the Cockroach at the Met.

I suspect the cockroach will live as long as the Phantom has.

Many who have resided in Key West a few years will tell you the island rests on a bed of cockroaches.

The Met Gala was held recently. An exclusive event. Without a written invitation, no admission. A cockroach got in without invitation. Caused quite a stir. Screams followed by laughter could be heard on video.

The roach escaped. Without question, will return another day.

Received x-ray reports from Dr. Norris yesterday. X-rays were of both hands and upper right arm. All negative.

I continue to suspect the periodic extreme pain in my hands is arthritis. My right arm, I don’t know. Can only lift it 60 percent. No recent falls, so cause remains a mystery.

Enjoy your day!




My blog today one of historical significance. I publish it because there is much to be learned from history. History teaches.

The good is always be remembered, the bad forgotten. Forgotten with lessons that should be recalled as a constant reminder of what not to do.

Before delving into the lesson recalling blog planned for today, I am compelled to briefly comment on the recent carnage in Texas. Two events on the same day. One in Allen, the other Brownsville. One by gun, the other by an SUV.

Texans are killers at heart. Remind me of the Old West when it comes to death by gun shot wounds.

Texas has had more shooting deaths in recent years than any other State. Only a handful have done the shooting. The rest of the populace has suffered. And complain!

My problem is most Texans bear responsibility. Their guns the ballot box. They have voted and revoted basically the same Republicans into office. I find it hard to understand.

The solution is new laws limiting guns, not making it easier for people to possess. Ergo the cure is the ballot box. Texans, use it properly the next time around.

I wrote the following blog 8/15/14. It bears repeating.


The first year of Great Britain’s participation in World War II was marked with glory and disgrace. The glory of the highest type. The disgrace the worst imaginable.

Two battles were involved. The Air Battle for Britain and the Fall of Singapore.

The Air Battle for Britain is recognized as memorable. A high point in British history. Englishmen fighting bravely against overwhelming odds.

The air battle began on July 10, 1940 and ended on October 31, 1940. A mere three and a half months. Germany bombed England relentlessly during that time frame. Hitler was of the opinion he could bomb the Brits into submission. He ordered Britain to be bombed every day.
Initially, the bombing was of airfields, infrastructure, and factories. A month into the bombings, Hitler decided to terrorize the English people. He bombed the cities.

London was especially targeted.

Germany had significantly more planes and experienced pilots than Britain. By the thousands. The Brits were defended by RAF volunteers. Primarily young men dedicated to defeating the German onslaught.

Hitler considered his Luftwaffe superior. Defeat never entered his mind. Defeated he and Germany were, however. By young fighter and bomber pilots . Ill experienced at the start of the battle. Seasoned warriors in less than four months. The young pilots went up to defend their country several times a day every day.

Hitler became so frustrated with his losses that he ordered the raids on England to stop on October 31. He was not going to lose one more plane over England. He ordered the Luftwaffe to Russia.

Churchill labeled the British victory in words that most everyone is familiar with to this day: “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.”

Glory can be fleeting. It was in the case of Great Britain. One year later, Singapore fell to the Japanese.

A loss in and of itself is not significant. It is the way one loses. Great Britain threw in the towel in Singapore basically without firing one bullet.

On February 15, 1942, the British commander surrendered the 130,000 troops under his command to the Japanese. The British commander was unaware at the time that the Japanese only had a few thousand troops on the island and the Japanese were very low on ammunition.

The British commander gave up Singapore without a fight. A battle never occurred. That is why the time in Singapore’s history is referred to as the Fall of Singapore, rather than the Battle for Singapore. It marked the end of the British Empire. It is known in history as the day the Empire died. The day the British empire fell apart.

Why no battle? A number of reasons.

The 130,000 troops under British command consisted of British, Indian and Australian troops. None wanted to fight. The British were living in another world. Even their military prowess. It was Victorian in nature. From another time. The Brits were also overconfident.

They considered themselves superior to the little yellow man. One prominent English civil servant in Singapore wanted to know whether it would take more than a day to throw the little men off the island. The soldiers themselves were overconfident. They were of the opinion the Japanese would never make it to shore. They would die in the water.

Great Britain had poured a ton of money in 1938 into fortifying and upgrading Singapore’s defenses. No one would be able to penetrate or take Singapore. The story is similar to the French Marginal Line. Singapore was also a large naval base.

The Brits expected an attack from the sea. The Japanese did not come in by the sea. They came in through the back door. The Malayan Peninsula. Through the streaming jungles on foot. No heavy motorized equipment. They stole bicycles to move forward when they reached Singapore.

The Japanese were ruthless along the way. They took no prisoners.

There were some approaching Japanese vessels. Two of Britain’s best ships went out to meet and destroy the enemy two days before
Singapore surrendered. The battleship Prince of Wales and cruiser Repulse. Both were sunk.

Britain was still plagued by World War I where it lost a generation of its young men. Britain was reluctant to lose more.

It is assumed this affected the mentality of the British generals, also.

Forty thousand Indian troops were a part of the 130,000 under British command. India had been clashing with Britain for years for independence.

Britain would not bend an inch to give them any type independence.

The Indians refused to fight. In fact after the surrender, 30,000 joined the Japanese forces and fought with them the rest of the war.

Some of them became guards at the POW camp established to keep the British troops.

The Australians were not much better. One third of the Australians deserted before the Japanese even set foot on Singapore.

The Australian commander, Lt. General Gordon Bennett, did not desert. He did leave his men, however. To avoid capture, he hopped a small boat with a couple of other officers and made his way to Australia.

The Australians were upset because the Brits did not treat them as equals. They were white as the British were.

However, the British considered and treated the Australians as lower type whites.

The British were fond of social clubs. Places where British were welcome. One was Raffles. The Australians were not welcome at the British social clubs.

They were forced to socialize at Indian and Chinese clubs.

Churchill and the British cabinet in several wires ordered the British commanders on Singapore to stand and fight to the death. The words went unheeded.

The British commander surrendered with out even firing a shot.

The British Empire was no more.


Another Texas massacre. At an Allen, Texas mall.

Love these Texans. They always express sorrow. Always “pray” for everyone involved. That’s it, however. Merely lip service. They do nothing to actually stop the shootings. Instead continue to make it easier for people to get guns.

The “line-up” by officials to share news re yesterday’s shooting typical Texas “nothing bullshit.” Deep sorrow and prayers. No facts.

Texans, wise up! Vote these deviant Texas Republicans out of office. You need to do so in order to straighten your out of control/no control gun laws. Fail to do so will result in the next person killed being a member of your family. Perhaps a child. Too late for you!

I do not recall a scenario similar to this year’s Kentucky Derby. 

Seven of the entrees died in the week leading up to the Derby itself. Five prior to the day, two more euthanized the morning of the Derby.

Five horses scratched also. One was the favorite Forte. Scratched the morning of the race. I mentioned yesterday that friend and Key West snowbird Reiley McDonald owns a piece of Forte. Forte stumbled on the track Thursday. Sustained a bruised right foot. State veterinarians concurred in the decision to scratch Forte.

David Taylor is an old Key West basketball friend. We used to watch Syracuse and Kentucky play. Not necessarily each other. We sometimes went  to Jack Flats, sat at the bar next to each other, I watching Syracuse on one TV set and he Kentucky on another.

Several years ago, David and his wife tired of Key West, sold and returned to Kentucky. We still communicate, however.

David sent me an email yesterday. He attended the Kentucky Derby once. Never again. His position being the experience could never be equaled.

It was 50 years ago. He was a college student in shorts, tennis shoes and a short sleeved T-shirt. Partied and watched from the infield. Cheapest admission. 

Three reasons why it was his one and only.

The first, Secretariat won. He wrote he was unable to get to the rail, but did see his legs go by.

Second reason, there was a “streaker.” A bold, courageous young idiot who shed every thread of clothing and climbed to the top of the Churchill Downs’ flagpole. They had to wait till he came down on his own. He captured the world’s attention.

Final reason, when the race was run and the party over, his shoes and shirt (which he had shed because of the heat) were gone.

He had to walk barefoot and shirtless back to his car. All he had were his car keys and a few dollars.

David closed his email with: “Why would I ever return? What could top it?”

He further admonished the best seat in the house is in front of your TV. There is no issue with parking or finding a bathroom.

Signed: “It’s all good – David in Kentucky.”

The Coronation was impressive. Emotional. A bit of tradition every 70 years does not hurt.

I visited Westminster many years ago. Overwhelming. A must see for anyone visiting London.

American millionaire Alfred Vanderbilt died this day in 1915. He was only 38 years old.

He died a hero saving women and children aboard the liner Lusitania which was sunk by a German U-boat. Lives lost totaled 1,198.

Ronald Reagan: “The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

One in three Americans have done jail time. Between 70 million and 100 million.

The number disgraceful. Highest in the world. We “arrest and jail” for everything.

Assistance following discharge equally disgraceful. We make life difficult for persons with “records.” Thereby guaranteeing they will be involved in another criminal act(s) in order to survive. Having even a minor criminal record, such as a misdemeanor or even an arrest without conviction, can create an array of lifelong barriers that stand in the way of successful re-entry.

Enjoy your Sunday!



A special day. Basked in tradition. The Coronation of Charles III and the 149th running of the Kentucky Derby.

I have watched better than half the Coronation this morning. Emotional. The sense of tradition at the forefront. Bless the English. They know how to do it.

Both the King and Queen were deserving of the honor bestowed them. Charles literally waited a lifetime. He is in his early 70’s. Camilla of non-royal blood who spent a lifetime initially as Charles lover and then wife. 

Strange Kentucky Derby this year. The 147th running of the Derby marred by the pre death of four horses. Twenty were to have run. The number dropped to 16. Three horses have been substituted in. Still one short of the 20.

One hundred fifty thousand will attend the Derby. It has been reported 522,000 cans of beer, 142,000 hot dogs, and 120,000 mint juleps will be consumed.

This year’s race bears a special interest on my part. A relatively new friend and part of the Boys Night Out group is Reiley McDonald. I mentioned him following our last gathering at La Te Da. Reiley owns a piece of Forte. Forte is the favorite in today’s race.

I wish Forte and Reiley well. I will be pulling for them.

Ginni Thomas’ reputation is growing by leaps and bonds. She is out of the shadows. A good factor. Out where all can see the corruption that cloaks her.

Ginni Thomas has had a trading stock for years. I was unaware. It was announced her stock will soon be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The recent notoriety though bad, has been healthy for the stock. Her success in life amazing. Wife of a Supreme Court Justice and “owner” of a major corporation.

Her stock is being recommended as a “strong buy.”

Bess Levin published an article yesterday in Vanity Fair re Ginni: “Oops: Ginni Thomas’s Firm Also Received Cash Payments From A Conservative With Business Before The Supreme Court.”

Hide the money! Which she did.

Levin’s opening sentence to the article: “It sure sounds like Clarence and Ginni Thomas are the most corrupt couple in Washington.”

Levin points out during “the last month, a picture of corruption…..Any other government employee would be fired for much less.”

Clarence and Ginni will likely experience no repercussions. Such is wrong!!!

Yesterday turned out to be one of horrors for me.

I had several things to accomplish. Eight in number. Made a list and the order in which I would do what had to be done. Got through the first 7. Eight would have been too much. I was totally exhausted. Wiped out.

I worked at the list from 5am to 3 pm. Five in the morning not unusual. I begin my blog around that time each morning. The wipe out arrived with #7. I went to the hospital for x-rays. Sign in normally has three persons. Only one yesterday. Apparently all day. It took around 2 1/2 hours to sign in. 

The sign in person was very apologetic. She acknowledged things got screwed up and was sorry. No sweat, I assured her.

Actually, it was. Sitting around waiting is what did me in.

I had 3 parts of my body to be x-rayed. Fifteen pictures. Took less than 10 minutes when they finally got to me. Two and one half hour wait for less than 10 minutes of service. Bad day at Black Rock!

I went home and directly to bed. Fell asleep for 3 hours.

Slept well last night. Feel fine today.

Busy afternoon ahead. Sloan and I will be working again on Jack Baron and some other items. About 2 hours work involved.

Enjoy your day!