I am 88 years old. I continue not only to live, but also learn. Two factors that amaze me.
I am researching a book I have been toying about writing for some time. One of the primary characters is a prostitute. A highly successful one that impacted many lives. Her sexual career began at the age of 8. Her father and mother molested her till she was 13. At 13, she ran away from home and began her “working career” in a Philadelphia massage parlor.
In researching some aspects of prostitution on the internet yesterday afternoon, I came across two bits of information I was unaware of. Two examples of “continuing to live and learn.” The sources of “hooker” and “redlight district.”
During the Civil War, prostitutes found many customers among Union and Confederate soldiers. The term “hooker” developed from the relationship prostitutes had with soldiers commanded by Union General Joseph Hooker.
“Red light districts” somewhat related timewise to the Civil War. After the War, camps of prostitutes would set up at railroad construction sites. When the railroad workers would visit the camps at night, they hung their red signal lights outside the tents of prostitutes so they could be readily found if there was a railroad emergency. The term “red light district” originated from the red glow that resulted from the practice.
Roe v. Wade was decided this day in 1973. A landmark decision. The Supreme Court ruled the Constitution protected a woman’s right to have an abortion. The decision recognizing and supporting the right to an abortion was 7-2.
Roe, with modifications over the years, was the law of the land till June 24, 2022 when the Supreme Court overrode it in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The vote was 6-3 overriding Roe. The decision threw decision making power into the hands pf State legislators, “to the people’s elected representatives.”
Dobbs is a terrible decision. Adversely affected women’s rights. The Nation was immediately inflamed. The decision severely affected the Republican Party in the 2022 midterm elections. It will continue to have an impact in 2024, perhaps not as strongly however.
The U.S. female population is increasingly dominating certain aspects of life. Now, real estate.
Single women own more homes than single men. Overall home ownership is now majority female, also.
Sixty years ago, women could not even get a credit card or a mortgage without a male cosigner.
What a difference time makes! As with Virginia Slims of old, ladies have come a long way!
Eighteen Catholic bishops have signed a letter calling for the U.S. to cut military spending and instead invest in ending poverty in the U.S. American bishops continue to stick there noses where they do not belong. As with their good friends the evangelicals, many U.S. bishops have become politicians instead of soul savers. They misuse the pulpit.
The Conference of U.S. Bishops leads these activities. They constantly oppose Pope Francis and would like to see him deposed. Such shows their heads are clearly in the wrong place.
The U.S. spends billions to help the poor and needy. Always more could be spent. However not at the expense of placing our country in danger of a war being fought on U.S. soil. Better we meet “enemies” on foreign soils. Should bombs fall on our cities, the money spent to feed, house and provide medical attention to our own would be astronomical. Off the wall!
These bishops are political hacks!
Yesterday a significant one in golf history. An amateur won The American Express PGA Tournament. He is Nick Dunlap, a 20 year old Alabama sophomore.
The door to all kinds of good things open for him. The victory entitles Dunlap, if he so choses, to turn pro, to enter the Masters, the PGA Championship and the Players Championship. He also is entitled to a 2 year exemption onto the PGA Tour. All good decisions to be in a position to make!
Dunlap was not eligible to receive the $1.5 million prize for his first place finish since he is an amateur.
The last amateur to win a Tour event was Phil Mickelson in 1991. Look at what that victory did for him!
This day in 1912 a big day in Key West. Henry Flagler arrived on the first train from the mainland to Key West thereby officially opening the Overseas Extension of the Florida East Coast Railroad. Flagler was received with great enthusiasm by the largest crowd ever assembled in Key West up to that time.
A bit of local unhappiness this day in 1969 in Key West. An effort to beautify downtown Key West was turned over to a group of hippies. They began painting a dozen trash cans in psychedelic colors. Chamber of Commerce President William Gamble called the colorful designs “idiotic painting that looks like it has been done by some elementary school children.” He was afraid people would think the island was a “hippie haven.”
Gamble was correct. It was the beginning of a Key West transformation. The Key West of the 1970’s. The birth of a new, exciting and different Key West.
Last night a grand evening at Antonia’s. Dinner at the bar. T.K. bartending. T.K. adds a special presence to the bar and restaurant.
Met some great people.
Seated next to me at the bar was Billy Liberty. Met him for the first time.
Billy in his early 60’s is into boats. He has a sail loft somewhere. He manages sail racing programs. Races for money. He describes himself as a “competitive sailor.”
Billy does not own a home in Key West. He visits a friend 2-3 times a year. Billy grew up on Long Island. Obviously into boats and sailing early on.
A significant Key West race is the Southern Most Race annually held in Key West. Big power boats speeding around the island. Helicopters flying low over the boats and crowd. Sounds like a war zone. Exciting! People mob the shore line to watch and experience the sensation.
Billy manages one of the boats. He brings 18 people to Key West each year to attend and assist. Every boat owner has a similar number attending. They spend a ton of money at the hotels and restaurants.
This year’s race was held recently. Billy said it was different. He said the feeling of the community was lacking this year. The boaters felt neither they nor the race were a part of the vibe of the community. His impression was the community this year was not aware the racers were even in town.
I can believe Billy. I understand what is going on. There is a new breed in Key West. They do not take to what Key West was or is. It affects me as it does Billy. My Key West is disappearing. The new crowd buys here as they would in Miami or Naples. A second or new home in a warm place. They do not appreciate the real Key West nor care. Sad, but true. They care little about the uniqueness of my community.
Met also Peter and Debbie. They now live in Palm Beach Gardens. Since 2005, they have owned a three week time share at the Galleon. A terrific place to have a time share. They are down enjoying their three weeks. They are originally from Toms River, New Jersey and still maintain a home there.
Peter is retired. He was a sales rep most of his career for a company that manufactured the steel used in manhole covers. Debbie still working. She insures condominium complexes in New Jersey. They have three grown children and six grandchildren.
Billy left and Chris and Lia were seated next to me. Both from Chicago. This Key West visit was Chris’ fourth, Lia’s first. They are staying at the lovely Southernmost Complex on the Atlantic side of the island.
Chris is an accountant, Lia a chef. Lia is passionate about food. Wish I had her cooking for me!
Chris played basketball at Illinois State. He is passionate about golf. A 3 handicap. Hate him! I sucked at the game. I was a 35.
As soon as I publish today’s blog, I will be off to Date and Thyme for my Monkey Smoothie fix.
Tonight it will be Aqua. Lynda Frechette’s Aqua Idol Fundraiser from 6-8. Key Westers performing to raise dollars for the Fundraiser. It is Lynda’s baby. She created and has been running it for years. No easy task. Lynda has raised several hundred thousand dollars for one of the loves of her life, the Waterfront Playhouse.
Go. You will enjoy.
Enjoy your whole day!