I am showing off. My high school French. Not sure how accurate it is. Translated: The Best of the Best Laurie Thibaud.

Laurie a Key West icon. Personable. Friend to all. Loved by all.

Laurie was born in Grasse, France. The reason for the French introduction. At age 4, she came to the U.S. Resided with her family in Westfield, N.J. 

Returned to France in her late teens. Attended 3 schools.  Never received a diploma. To this day, considers herself to have been a professional student.

Ended up in Key West.

A mainstay at several bars/restaurants. A microphone host at several. Her longest gig Aqua. Seventeen years. Left for several months recently. Returned a couple of weeks ago. She is responsible for the Back Bar Saturday and Sunday evenings.

Laurie  additionally began a radio show on 105.7 last week. Her show. “Drive at 5.” Three nights a week.

Still speaks fluent French. I hope I did not embarrass myself with the blog’s title.

My first stop tonight the Back Bar to visit Laurie and her friends.

Then depending on the time, the Gardens, Mary Ellen’s for tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich, and finally the Chart Room. An ambitious list. Will be lucky to get two in.

Last night exciting! The Lighted Boat Parade. Each vessel trimmed for Christmas as if it were the outside of one’s home. Even a commemorative Jewish vessel in the mix. A well lit menorah. 

I went down to Schooner’s Wharf to watch. Too crowded. Tried the back of the Pier House. Worked better. Stayed only 10 minutes. Does not take long to see the boats in line and enjoy their beauty.

Finished the evening by stopping in the Chart Room to say hello to John and enjoy a drink.

Yesterday afternoon, a disaster. Syracuse beat by Old Dominion 68-62.

Syracuse had a 13 point lead at one point. A 10 point lead another. 

Syracuse played like it was their first time on a basketball court in the second half. Outscored by 16 points. Old Dominion was hot. Made 55 percent of their shots in the second half.

Did not help either that Syracuse missed 12 foul shots.

The game stressful for me. I bleed orange.

A piece of Hemingway’s life.

Hemingway was 19 and an ambulance driver in Italy during World War I. He was wounded. Ended up in a hospital.

His nurse was Agnes von Kurowski. Originally from Pennsylvania.

A heavy romance ensued.

Agnes was Hemingway’s model for Catherine Barkley in A Farewell To Arms.

Hemingway recovered. Returned to the U.S. He hoped to save enough money to bring Agnes back to the U.S. Agnes was transferred to another hospital in Italy.

In November 1919, Agnes wrote a letter to Hemingway. A Dear John letter. She had fallen in love with an Italian major who was also a Neapolitan Duke. She advised Hemingway she and the Duke would be married in the spring.

The marriage never was. The Duke’s mother did not like Agnes. Thought she was a social climber.

Hemingway was destroyed.

The day he received the letter, he wrote his close friend Bill Horne: “…..you make love to a girl and then you go away. She needs somebody to make love to her. If the right person turns up, you’re out of luck. That’s the way it goes.”

The emotional blow to Hemingway heavy.

Trump not the only one crazy. The Republican Party is also.

The conversation in recent weeks has considered heavily the U.S. getting out of Yemen. Bring the troops home! The get out of Yemen cry a popular one with U.S. citizens.

An issue for debate. It was contemplated such would take place soon after the first of the year. First by the House and then the Senate. Expected to pass both chambers.

The reasons for getting out of Yemen includes it is not our war. We have been there 3 years supporting “our friend” Saudi Arabia. In those 3 years, there has been wholesale slaughter and genocide by the Saudis upon the Yemen people. See the pics on the internet of the famished children. Skin and bones. I saw one photo of a 12 year old girl. Small compared to her age. Ribs visibly protruding. No semblance of breasts.

Four days ago, a farm bill was before the House for a procedural vote. Note, a farm bill.

Hidden within was a provision prohibiting any further debate or move by Congress to withdraw U.S. forces from Yemen.

The House still Republican.

Speaker Paul Ryan had the provision buried in the farm bill. What a disappointment he has turned into.

The bill passed.

Does anyone voting  on these bills read them?

In any event, I am confident the Democratic controlled House coming in on January 3 will do the necessary to correct the situation.

I raise another question. Was the provision added merely to accommodate Saudi Arabia or was another involved? Like the military-industrial complex.

Trump told the American people during the campaign he was going to clean the swamp that Washington had become. He’s done a good job. The swamp is bigger and dirtier than any previous time.

Most Trump appointees on the take in one fashion or another.

The most recent is former Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke. Former because he resigned yesterday. He had been told resign before the end of December or he would be fired.

The pressure on Zinke heavy. Many probes of his real estate dealings in his home state Montana. One probe is into his dealings with Halliburton regarding oil interests in Whitefish, Montana. 

Zinke has also eliminated or weakened many environmental regulations. At the behest of Trump, of course.

Then his and his wife’s personal conduct. His use of government planes for personal reasons. His wife the use of government vehicles.

Will Trump be able to fill Zinke’s position?

No one wants to go to work for Trump’s administration at the present time. Can’t blame them with the investigations ongoing and more to come.

Trump is having and will continue to have trouble filling key positions. No one wants to get dirty.

Enjoy your Sunday!

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