Part of retirement is reverting mentally to days long gone by. Getting together with other seniors and living a bit as in younger days.

A boys’ night out is one way of returning to yesteryear. A bunch of old fucks getting together. Generally for dinner. Drinking a bit too much. Arguing amicably. Waking with a bit of a hangover the next day.

New York labor lawyer Fred Klein has been instrumental in putting such a group together. Fred a snowbird. His game plan dinner together once a month. 

The first time was a month ago at La Te Da. I attended. The next time was wednesday night at Tavern ‘n Town. I did not attend as I was recovering from my mentally fatal chest pains the night before. 

Fred brought together 6 men. Two new who I have not yet met.

They apparently had a big fun time! Read Fred’s once a week friday blog for details. 

Fred wrote: “We are no longer Boys, but we like to think of ourselves as such and maybe act like it at times.”

The group consisted of 4 liberals and 2 conservatives. Politics was the primary item of discussion. Interesting. There was a time it would have been women. Fred wrote the talk was “pretty rough,” but “animated”…..”A well spoken group with diverse opinions which created thoughtful conversation.”

Fred crystalized the evening: “Good food and people when put in combination with a liberal dose of alcohol is good for the mind and soul.”

And I had to be sick!

Some Key West tidbits.

On this day in 1822, John Fleming arrived in Key West with workers and materials to erect the first house on Key West.

Here I go again: Harry Truman loved Key West and Key West loves Harry Truman.

On this day in 1952, Truman left the Little White House at 7:15 am for a 2 mile walk. He was interested that morning in the shrimp fleet and turtle kraals. He headed for Key West Bight.

A sadness to this story. Truman of course long gone. One of the U.S.’ finest Presidents. Shrimp and turtles long gone also. No longer Key West industries.

Twenty years ago, African bodies were discovered to have been buried on Higgs Beach.

My son in law Corey Malcom is the Lead Historian at the Florida Keys History Center. He was long time Director of Archeology at the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum prior to his present position. Corey brought the Key West African cemetery on Higgs Beach to light. He was instrumental in protecting the graves and the Memorial monument work that followed.

Twenty years had taken its toll on the Memorial. The Memorial’s original artists recently returned and performed a much needed facelift. They are Carlos and Diana Delgado.

A remembrance of the refugees buried there will be hosted by Corey sunday at 3 pm. The Memorial is between the Edward B. Knight Pier and Higgs Beach. Attendance is free.

Though Republican by registration, my feeling is Key West is not a DeSantis community.

A Queer Keys Rally will be held at noon tomorrow – saturday – at Bayview Park. Its purpose to protest anti-LGBTQIA+ legislation coming out of Tallahassee and to demonstrate the Conch Republic believes in equity, justice and love for all members of One Human Family.

From Key West to the Mont Blanc Tunnel connecting Italy and France.

On this day in 1999, a fire ignited in the French portion of the Mont Blanc Tunnel. Burned for 2 days.

In my several visits to the area, I frequently traveled the Mont Blanc Tunnel. An experience. Like driving the Seven Mile Bridge in the Keys. The tunnel is 7 miles long. It was opened to traffic in 1965. When opened, it was three times longer than any existing highway tunnel.

I always stayed in a friend’s Swiss chalet in northern Italy in Courmayeur, part way up Mont Blanc. The tunnel connected Courmayeur to Chamonix on the French side.

Both communities lovely. The Italian people in Courmayeur especially nice. I enjoyed them. Made many friends.

Chamonix was another story. I disliked the people greatly. They disliked me. They disliked everyone. The French were nowhere as nice as the Italians. The French attitude was obvious. Were it not that I enjoyed exploring the surrounding area, I would never have returned after the first visit.

Traveling through a 7 mile tunnel not fun. Carbon monoxide prevalent. Windows shut. Even the air conditioning. It sucked the carbon monoxide into the car so had to be turned off.

One thing I noticed in the area was how mountains were traversed. In the U.S., we generally go up and over. In northern Italy and France, under. Gigantic tunnels drilled. Made sense, however. Mont Blanc the highest peak in the Alps. Up and over probably impossible and/or more expensive.

Enjoy your day!

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