It is here again! Fantasy Fest! It began last night. With Goombay.

Goombay is a Caribbean street festival. Blocks of food, drink and trinkets. A rap band at one end. The streets very crowded.

My evening started just before 6 at the Chart Room. I was to meet Don and Chris. The bar was empty when I arrived. A table was full. Sheila, David and Ollie. And a woman I did not know. I said my hellos and payed no attention to the strange lady. When I turned to the bar, Emily says that woman is Charlotte and she is waiting for you.

First let me say I do not know what I would do without Emily. She has become Key West Lou’s personal assistant.

I immediately recalled Charlotte. She is a loyal reader of this blog. We have been communicating on Facebook. We ended up in each other’s arms and exchanged excited greetings.

Charlotte is extremely lovely. Turns out last night was an evening of all lovlies. Charlotte lives somewhere in North Carolina. Lives on a boat. The past ten years. She works for United Health Care. My supplemental and drug policies. Travels a lot for her company. This was her fourth trip to Key West this year. Her Key West trips are on her own. She is a Key Wester at heart. I enjoyed her company and look forward to seeing her at the Chart Room again during the week.

Don and Chris arrived. My Syracuse friends. They both travel a lot for business. Key West is their second home, though they still stay at the Casa Marina. Don looked shot. Chris terrific, as usual. They both had returned from a China business trip the day before.

They arrived with two lovely ladies. One was either Don or Chris’ sister. I cannot remember exactly. Marla is the sister. Her friend Kathie was with her.

Both ladies work for Phillips Distilling in Minneapolis. Marla is Design Director. She is in charge of all labeling. Kathie is Director of Marketing. More importantly, Marla is a loyal blog reader. Thank you Marla!

Phillips is the producer of UV Voldka. All those flavors! The proud distiller of Old Grandad back when.

Marla and Kathie recently did a TV show for Lifetime Network. They were the stars! Promoting Phillip’s products, of course. They even had Joe Biden on the show.They showed me a photo taken of the Vice President holding a bottle of beer Phillips named after him. The Vice President had a broad grin on his face.

Before our time together ended, we had circled the bar stools and were all talking. Charlotte included.

I had an appointment to meet Don of Don’s Place. I was off and away. Walked to Petronia Street where Goombay is held. Stopped into 801 looking for Don. No Don. No one I knew. 801 is Key West’s premier gay bar. Don and friends were to meet there and then head into the mass across the street that was Goombay. I missed them.

I walked the several blocks of Goombay. Said hello to many people I knew. Stopped and chatted a few minutes with some. Ate and drank a bit. Finally ended up at the bandstand at the end of the street. Everyone enjoying rap.

Made my way back to Blue Heaven. The second designated meeting place for Don and friends. Don and everyone were at the bar.

Goombay is Don’s party. Everyone is his guest at 801 and then Blue Heaven. Don has a heart of gold.

It was Don’s Place and the bocce team transplanted to Blue Heaven. Don, Stephanie, David, Joanie, Herschel, Erika, Keith, Angus, Sandy, Frankie, and I cannot recall who else.

Frankie is a man of many talents. He is Key West’s premier plumber. He is the man when a toilet is plugged! He is also my bocce partner. Probably the best bocce player in Key West. Last night I discovered he was a musician, also.

The band was on a second level. Up there in the lights was Frankie beating the drums.

It was hot. I was hot. A humid evening to begin. Add the mass of people to the humidity and it could become unbearable. It did for me. So much so that when I arrived at Blue Heaven, I ordered a cold bottle of beer. A Budweiser. David was shocked. He had never seen me drink antything but gin.

I do not like beer. Have never liked it. It did cool me a bit. However, I had that sour after taste. I shall stay with gin from now on. Last night was my first deviation in 45 years. There will not be another.

On the walk back to my car, I ran into Ollie. Ollie is a recent friend. He is a candidate for the Mosquito Control Board. An important position in the Keys. He was with two lovely ladies. I told you earlier, it was an evening of lovely ladies. They were his sisters.

The Key West Lou Legal Hour went well yesterday. Many today topics discussed. The one that garnered the most interest was my discussion of the NFL’s tax status. It is tax exempt. You read it correctly. It has 501(c)(6) status. It is considered a not for profit for tax purposes. Since 1966. Another biggie that does not pay income taxes. The NFL’s cash flow is in the billions. The NFL pays its President Roger Godell $11.6 million. I do not believe professinal baseball and basketball enjoy a similar exemption.

My evening began at 5:30. It was over at 9:30. I was dead! Slept well last night.

Enjoy your day!

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