Key West’s 58th Annual Conch Blowing Contest took place over the weekend.

The contestants do not merely inhale deeply, blow hard, and hope a screeching sound will result. Rather the contestants consider the conch shell a musical instrument and “play music” as such an instrument commands.

There was a female and a male winner .

The female winner was Canadian Aliszon Zaichkowski. A resident of British Columbia. She is a member of the Royal Canadian Navy Orchestra where she plays the French horn.

Blowing the conch shell, she played excerpts from several melodies, including Stravinsky’s The Firebird and Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody.

The male winner was Big Pine’s Vinnie Marturano. He played a portion of Khachaturian’s Sabre Dance.


My out of house sunday event was Publix. Shopped around 1. The wrong time. Packed. Had to wait a couple of minutes to get a cart.

Caronavirus concerns obvious. The Clorox shelve totally empty. So was another detergent shelf. Publix had signs on both that it was reserving the right to limit purchases.

I stayed in the rest of the day because it was cold. The temperature was ok. Seventy six degrees. However the wind off the Atlantic was powerful and brought the cold ocean air with it. Felt more like 66 than 76.

Clabber. Ever drink it? I never have nor had I heard of it. Clabber first came to my attention this morning when reading of May Johnson’s 1896 Key West exploits on this day.

One was she “drank some clabber.”

Researched clabber.

Clabber is sour milk that becomes naturally clotted as it sours. Raw unpasteurized milk must be used. Pasteurized does not contain the bacteria necessary for the clotting process to work in forming the sour milk.

Note clabber is not the same as buttermilk.

My evening planned. A manicure at 6:15. Then Dueling Bartenders. Followed by dinner at Antonia’s.

I definitely will be out. My nails are beginning to look like those of the Wicked Queen in Snow White.

Today one of importance. National Napping Day. Much appreciated, especially as one gets older.

Castelvetro is a small town in northern Italy. In the middle of the coronavirus epidemic. Its people quarantined.

Not everything bad, however.

A local winery malfunctioned wednesday. Caused 1,000 liters of ready to be bottled wine to leak into certain of the town’s water pipes. Twenty homes affected.

Wine flowing from all faucets for 3 hours. People bottling that which was emanating from their faucets.

Officials assured no health issues involved.

Some Louis updates re the coronavirus crisis.

Italy in bad shape. Presents raw evidence of how swiftly the virus can spread. Less than 3 weeks ago, Italy had 17 identified cases. Today, 1,700 plus. Deaths 366.

Italy has quarantined 16 million persons.

Will the U.S. move with the same speed, if at all? Not the issue at the moment in what I am about to report.

Northern Italy hit the worse. Milan and most of northern Italy under what Italians describe as a “lock down.” Quarantine to us.

I have visited Milan several times. A magnificent city. Especially its world famous Square. Piazza del Duomo.             .

The Square is huge. Bigger than that! Duomo Cathedral at one end.

I have many pictures of me in the Square. In fact, came across them last week. Can’t find them this morning as I write. My intent was to show not Louis, but rather the immense number of people crowding the Square.

Today’s internet photos show a totally empty Square. Not one human being!

There are many events which are part of the Square’s history. Since I am a history buff, the stone building where Mussolini stood on the second floor open balcony yelling “War, War, War” to the Italian people. He was telling them of Italy’s attack on little Ethiopia. The people cheered.

A bully scenario. Something like Trump would pull. Mussolini proud of his invasion. Italy’s planes and tanks against Ethiopia’s camels.

Is Trump panicking? It was suggested on one of this morning’s talk shows. I would not doubt it.

His “Trump world” is crumbling around him.

He denies the breath of the epidemic. His “economy” taking a beating. He blames the Democrats and the media for putting out “false” messages. Likens the virus to the flu. Advises people with symptoms to go to work. Lies about many aspects of the problem. A few days ago, the CDC was ordered to release no further information as to number of deaths.

Many continue to follow Trump. Indisputable. They believe in him. They accept his words that the virus in effect is no big thing.

Such can work to an increased detriment in American society.

An example is a community where an entire family was quarantined. One daughter had had been in contact with the virus.

A school dance was scheduled. The daughter could not go. Nor should any one in the family have gone. However, the father and another daughter went in defiance of the quarantine imposed on them.

Trump influenced?

Enjoy your day!









  1. No one should be surprised that the Covid-19 outbreak is being politicized. The outbreak is global, but here in the US all government efforts to contain it will be criticized by the media and administration opponents as “too little” or “too late” or “ineffective” or “coverup” or “bumbling”. Any and all repercussions from the spread of the disease will be laid on the White House doorstep. It’s just the nature of politics in America nowadays. After all, it was Rahm Emanuel who first said “…never let a perfectly good crisis go to waste.”

      • “Loons?” Nah, we ‘loons’ are too busy sneezing and worried about dying from the flu to be politicizing this. Besides the White House seems to have a monopoly on that. Galt needs to get a grip and stop trying to sound “sooooo smart” or people are going to start thinking he wants David Books’ job.

    • Why do you you ALWAYS spin everything the wrong way? You should change your clever pseudonym to John Guilt, that’s far more appropriate.

      It could VERY well be “too little too late” and NOTHING to do with politics and everything to do with the truth. We knew about this virus a year ago and the experts at CDC predicted it would happen just as it is. Furthermore, all the experts say we are under staffed and have been slow to respond.

      What we ARE doing is “ineffective” and it sure looks like that to most people – where are the test kits’ ANYBODY could have predicted we were going to need?

      And you don’t have to be very smart to recognize any bumbling or cover up, like the constant under reporting of actual cases or not allowing that infected cruise ship to test or dock because that “US Coronavirus numbers don’t double” (yes, TRUMP actually said that).

      I’m not sure ALL the blame should be laid on the White House, but a good deal of it and maybe all, should be. It sure looks like THEY are the one’s MOST politicizing it!

      It also seems to me that Rahm Emanuel may have been right and his comment applied to exactly what the White House IS doing, the White House and YOU.

    • There is a world wide epidemic , were hundreds of thousands of people are suffering, tens of thousands of people dying, economies in trouble, the US stock market teetering on catastrophe, food stores running out of toilet paper, social upheaval and SxSW canceled, and we have some self centered jerk in America (naming himself after a questionable fictional cult figure), taking it upon himself to defend the Trump administrations defense that this Coronavirus thing is all some sort of political hype? Maybe the Coronavirus is not so much what we really need worry about.

  2. “Many continue to follow Trump. Indisputable. They believe in him”

    Jim Jones,Sun Myung Moon,Marshall Applewhite and now –Donald Trump.
    Some people just like to be played by the players.

  3. Trump still rules even after Russian help and impeached. Maybe this will bring him down. Virus not so bad if that happens

    • I hadn’t thought of it that way. But I’ve always though that a lot of people are gonna die before we are ever going to get rid of that monster.

  4. Thank you all for helping to make my point. Your responses here merely reinforce the concept that, even in a national crisis, the political blame game is alive and well. Neither Lou nor anyone here has suggested that we set political differences aside for a month or two. Am I the only one who believes that we should:
    trust our elected representatives to do their jobs?
    follow the advice of professionals of the World Health Organization and the CDC?
    support community efforts to limit the spread of the virus?
    avoid becoming part of the problem?

    Or is our first priority to find someone to blame and complain about, hoping to embellish a political spin?

    • Complaining about what is not being done correctly and the lack of leadership, is NOT politicizing.

      Calling it politicizing, as YOU have done, is your clever by half, way of spinning YOUR holier than thou political agenda.

    • Setting political differences aside for a month or two, should not be an option when faced with a national crisis/emergency. That should be the norm in any reasonable society. Why would there even be sides in such a situation, unless one or both sides chooses to do so. In this case we have one side choosing to do so by blaming the other of attacking them for po

      • … for political reasons calling it all a hoax and people like this Gault guy trying to say politicizing is normal, thereby giving shade to his favorite meme. It is that kind of thinking that exacerbates a problem we shouldn’t be having in the first place.

  5. Louis,

    Have you ever heard of Pino Lella? He is from Milan. Helped guide many Jews out over the mountains and into Switzerland during WWII. A book was written about him, soon to be a movie. Beneath A Scarlet Sky. I think you would enjoy it. He had a very interesting life. Was present to see Mussolini strung up.

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