This morning’s Citizen in its History Section ran a photo of Julius Stone and the then Governor of Florida taken sometime in the 1930’s.. They had been visiting the National Guard encampment at Fort Zachery Taylor.

Julius Stone brought to mind the blog I wrote on October 20, 2016 titled Gibraltar of the South. The blog was limited to who Stone was, how he came to be in Key West and minimally his accomplishments.

Today, an expansion of that blog. A bit more of the Stone story and persons intertwined in that story.

Things were tough in the 1930’s in Key West. The depths of the Depression. Julius Stone had been appointed WPA Administrator for Florida. He quickly observed
Key West was in worse shape than any other city in Florida.

He therefore opened a WPA office in Key West. One of two in the entire country.

Stone concluded tourism was the only way Key West could improve its economy. He viewed Key West as the Gibraltar of the South. Tourism would work!

Stone was a precursor. He saw what men like David Wolkowsky would envision in later years.

A major beginning was required. What? Stone finally decided a locally produced showing of the Pirates of Penzance. An effort to put together in those days, especially in Key West. He succeeded, however, Did it!

Diana Millikan comes into the story some 70 years later.

Diana is a snowbird. Rents a place in Key West on an annual basis. Sneaks down here whenever she can.

She can write. Even better, she is one hell of a researcher. I know. She has researched some items for me.

Three yeas ago, Diana decided to write a play. The play would tell the story of Julius Stone and the Key West production of the Pirates of Penzance.

Diana spent two years writing the play. No one has bought it yet. As she puts it, the play sits in several producers’ offices on a chair in a pile of other plays that maybe someone will get to some day.

I wish you well Diana. Good things happen when you least expect them.

Mosquitoes, mosquitoes, mosquitoes. Were it not for a Mosquito Control Board covering Key West and several miles up U.S. 1, most of us would probably have come down with dengue fever by now.

It was announced over the weekend that Massachusetts is having a mosquito problem this summer. There has been one case of EEE. Authorities are fearful of an outbreak. The EEE is the first case since 2013.

Key West is the perfect place for mosquito invasion. Water everywhere. The reason for the Mosquito Control Board. Directors publicly elected. The operation financed with tax dollars. The organization has several helicopters, trucks, a staff, etc.

We periodically get sprayed on. Also, periodically staff inspects every house within the Board’s jurisdiction. Merely walk around the outside of a house. The purpose to identify pools of water, no matter how small, where mosquitoes could breed.

Mosquitoes serious business!

Not all of the Keys provide the protection, however. Two recollections proving the point.

I was visiting friends in Sugarloaf for dinner in the summer time. I had to fight my way from the car to the house. A wall of mosquitoes. Never saw so many.

About 10 yeas ago, I did not drink for a year and a half. An enlarged heart. Doctors said no more drinking till it shrinks back. Took the year and a half. The heart will/did reduce itself.

Then the doctors said ok to drink again, but with moderation.

During my non-drinking time back then, I drove to Boondocks one evening for dinner. Boondocks is a large open air restaurant. Sits just short of Big Pine.

The place was packed. I was lucky to get a seat at the bar. All of a sudden, I was under attack. Mosquitoes.

The lady sitting next to me was my savior. She handed me a can of mosquito spray and said, “Spray!”

Over the course of the evening, I noticed everyone had a can of spray and were periodically covering themselves again.

We don’t have the problem in our open air restaurants in Key  West. We spray from helicopters!

A colorful picture on the front of this morning’s Key West Citizen. Apparently one of the short rainstorms we kept getting hit with last week flooded Angela Street between Simonton and Duval. The picture showed the water covering the street and sidewalks. Three cars that should not have been there. And the Angela Street side of The Gardens. The outside yellow wall. Glowing! Like a painted picture.

We all have favorite movies. One of mine is The Wizard of Oz.

The movie premiered this day in 1939 in Oconomowoe, Wisconsin.That’s the name of the city. Why it premiered there, I do not know. Perhaps the munchkins came from Oconomowoe.

Judy Garland starred. Her rendition of Over the Rainbow everyone’s favorite. Including Terri White. Where ever she performs, she works it into the list of tunes to be sung.

Great also at Dueling Bartenders. Everyone sings!

I particularly enjoy We’re Off To See The Wizard. Judy, the straw man,and the iron man walking down the road singing along.

A group that determines which songs were the best during a specific time frame voted Over the Rainbow the #1 Song of the Twentieth Century.

Several years ago, I visited Washington. Spent 3 days visiting Smithsonian Museums. One displayed the red shoes Judy Garland wore during the movie.

The Justice Building Blog recently ran an article titled Global Warming. Interesting. A bit scary. A serious warning.

The article traces the earth heating up. From dinosaurs to today. From today to when all liquid on earth is gone.

What then?

The closing paragraph: “The atmosphere will disintegrate and the earth will be a scorched wasteland, much like parts of current day New Jersey. This is our future. We are doomed.”

Trump says the economy is good. He constantly pitches the stock market in support of his position.

I do not believe the stock market alone can be relied on. I have expected it to fall. It will. It is over inflated. Whatever goes up comes down at some point. When it does,it will be 1,000 points a day. As in 1929, investors will be jumping out of high rise windows.

Every now and then I spell out certain industries/businesses that are down sizing, actually going out of business, or have had an extremely bad year.. A new one today. Heavy trucks.

Trucks ship goods cross country. An integral part of how we transport certain commodities. A recent studied indicated that between July of last year and July of this year, heavy truck orders dropped 81 percent. Means the call for and manufacture of 81 percent did not take place.

These are class 8 trucks. Only 9,800 were manufactured during the July to July period. The drop has been described by economists as a “striking collapse.”

During the same period, orders for truck freight trailers collapsed also.

Enjoy your day!


  1. The closing paragraph: “The atmosphere will disintegrate and the earth will be a scorched wasteland, much like parts of current day New Jersey. This is our future. We are doomed.”

    Very true Lou, the universe is expanding and eventually will be swallowed by a black hole. Oh, the horror.

      • So, you’re willing to go to war with China, India and all the other countries who are unwilling to adhere to AGW dictates? How else will you force them to go along? They are still developing.

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