Paths cross. A one time visit leads to a different encounter years later.

In April 1946, producer David Selznick and movie star Jennifer Jones visited Key West. They stayed at the La Concha Hotel.

Eleven years later, Jennifer Jones starred in Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell To Arms. She played Red Cross nurse Catherine Barkley. One of Hemingway’s greatest works. One of Jennifer Jones’ best movies.

She starred opposite Rock Hudson.

Jennifer Jones was a star during Hollywood’s golden years. She made many films. Besides A Farewell To Arms, two others especially thrilled me. The Song of Bernadette for which she won an Academy Award. Love Is A Many Splendored Thing with William Holden.

I was a freshman in college when Love Is A Many Splendored Thing hit the screen. It was Thanksgiving vacation and I was seated in a Utica theater with my wife to be. We were holding hands. The perfect movie, the perfect setting, for young people in love.

In later years, I came to know William Holden. We met several times at La Costa outside San Diego. I recall mentioning to him how much I enjoyed the movie. Especially the love scenes. Especially on the hill by the tree.

Holden was not a tall mean. Short. I asked how he did the loves scenes in his various movies. Most of the women had to be taller than him. Simple, he said. They stacked one or two Coca Cola wood cases and I stood on them!

One of the Mel Fisher Museum’s most popular showings was a 74.85 ounce gold bar. The bar had been found during a 1980 dive in a 1622 Spanish galleon wreck.

The gold bar’s value was estimated at $556,000.

The gold bar was stolen in 2010. The two men responsible were apprehended seven years later in 2017. The diligence of the law.

One of the men, Richard Steven Johnson, pled guilty in Federal Court yesterday. His accomplice is scheduled to plead guilty next month.

The gold bar has not been recovered. A continuing mystery is whether the bar still exists and, if so, where is it?

Mary Ellen’s on Applerouth is a relatively new opening. I have visited several times. A funky place. Serves sandwiches and small items. The most popular being toasted cheese sandwiches and tomato soup.

I love the place. A Key West funky interior. Crazy people. A few months ago, saw a dildo race. For real! Part of the scheduled entertainment that evening.

Mary Ellen’s has now scheduled a variety show. Like Ed Sullivan’s of old. Thursday nights at 10. Different acts, one after another.

I can’t wait to go. The only problem is I am generally in bed and asleep before 10.

The Conch Republic’s Great Sea Battle last night.

I was under the weather and did not go out. Disappointed I missed it.

There are no pictures of the Battle available this morning. The Key West Citizen would not be able to print something done that late. I could find no photos on the internet.

I suspect I will see no pics till monday. The Citizen only prints one edition on the weekend. Which means no paper tomorrow.

That’s the way it is in Key West.

Politics and religion. Do not belong together. Constitution suggests they are separate. Not in recent years, however. The Evangelicals and Catholics have gotten their noses into politics. Especially on the Republican side. A bad move for the religions and a bad move for the politicians.

The House of Representatives has a Chaplain. Has so forever. Nothing wrong with having a religious person give an opening prayer asking God’s help in the work of the day.

The present chaplain was Catholic priest Father Patrick Conroy. Till fired by Speaker Paul Ryan this month.

The reason for the firing secret. No reason given. Described as a “forced resignation.” The word leaked is it occurred because of dissatisfaction among House members.

Some think it might be because of an opening prayer Father Conroy said when Congress was debating the tax bill. In it, Father Conroy prayed for the lawmakers to “guarantee that there are not winners and losers under new tax laws, but benefits balanced and shared by all Americans.”

First time a House Chaplain has been fired. The public should be made aware why. Whether the reason be good, bad or indifferent for any concerned, including Father Conroy.

A bit of history. On this day in 1945, Benito Mussolini and his mistress were captured by partisans while trying to escape to Switzerland. Both were shot. Their bodies then taken to Milan and hung upside down on a pole at a gas station. The bodies then reviled.

My good friend Anna took me to Milan many times. A great city! Loved it!

On the same day she took me to the site of Mussolini’s hanging, she took me to see The Last Supper. What a combination! The Last Supper of course more touching and sensitive. I periodically recall The Last Supper. A pleasant recollection. I never recall Mussolini’s body hanging upside down at the gas station unless I read about it as I did today.

Enjoy your day!


    • A caveat lector here. All I can tell you is the man I spent time with was 5’5″. Maybe 5″4″. The 5’11” number perhaps Hollywood PR. I am 6’1″. The man I was with was a good half foot shorter.

  1. With the new Citizen “weekend edition” in effect, I am resorting to reading half on Saturday morning and the rest on Sunday. I think the whole idea sucks.

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