I met a railroad train conductor. A for real honest to goodness one. In his early 70’s. A conductor for 50 years. Still working at it.
Goes by JJ. He has been a conductor on the Union Pacific all those years. Enjoys his job. Showed me a photo of himself in a Christmas outfit he wears on the holiday runs. A normal conductor outfit dressed up for Christmas. Low hanging glasses. A mustache. No beard.
I met JJ when I sat next to him at the bar at Roostica.
JJ is vacationing for two weeks. His fifth year in the Key West area. Drives down. Rents a tent at Boyd’s and is happy. Fishes everyday all day.
When he mentioned the Union Pacific, my mind went back to the movies portraying the building of the railroad. With much difficulty. Bad guys, Indians, etc.
The Union Pacific was the US’ expansion west. The intent to have a transcontinental railroad. The first. A daring feat.
The man primarily responsible was Abraham Lincoln. He had a vision of bringing the east and west together via the railroad. The connection would be Omaha and Sacramento.
The Union Pacific an unmentioned part of Lincoln’s legacy. Lincoln signed the Act authorizing the construction July 1, 1862. During the Civil War. Ground was broken in Omaha in December 1863. Delays were monumental. The first rails were not laid till July 1865. Three months after Lincoln’s death.
Roostica owner Bobby Mongelli sat with me for a few moments. His three restaurants are doing well. Obvious to the eye. I mentioned I had been to Geiger Key a few times recently and the place was packed. He agreed. Told me business there now exceeds Roostica’s.
Why was I so impressed with JJ? Probably because I have not been on a train in at least 40 years. We all rode trains once. He was a figure out of the past to me.
Spent most of yesterday preparing for my podcast in the evening. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.
I split the podcast into two sections. Non-Trump and Trump. Trump overwhelms the news. I wanted my listeners to also hear what is going on in the non-Trump world.
Before leaving for Roostica, I had to shower. Cold water again. No hot at all. The cold shower reenergizing.
I am turning into a half-assed engineer as concerns the water heater. There are two heating elements behind two doors. I suspect one or both have to be replaced. It appears one is working overtime, overheating and throwing the circuit breaker. As it is supposed to do.
Phone just rang. Frankie the Plumber is on his way.
Douglas High School students meet with Florida legislators in Tallahassee today. It appears the legislators are not taking the students seriously.
Bill SB 196 was pending. It would have prohibited the sale of assault weapons. The Republicans opposed to the bill. They went through a few procedural machinations yesterday. The bill died in committee. It will stay in committee this year.
Sort of an up yours to the students. Like who do you kids think you are!
I am curious as to how the students will react.
We all understand guns kill. There was another item before the legislature yesterday. A resolution exclaiming pornography was dangerous, a public health risk. One which could lead to mental and physical illnesses.
Not only did the porn resolution pass overwhelmingly, it was also debated at length.
The legislature’s priorities are screwed up.
Syracuse/North Carolina tonight at 7. ESPN. North Carolina a 5 point favorite.
Another item Bobby Mongelli and I discussed was why solar energy is not available big time and cheaply in the Keys. Who has more sun than us?
This morning I read that furniture maker IKEA has been selling in Europe and Asia “at cost” home solar panel systems. Simple to install. Cost for everything between $7,500 and $10,000.
IKEA next moving in to Australia with the product.
Solar energy has continued to decrease in cost each year. The International Energy Agency predicts solar will be the world’s primary energy source by 2050.
I wish it would get here. Energy costs are astronomical!
I want to close with Karl Marx.
On this day in 1848, Marx’s Communist Manifesto was published in London. Marx had the assistance of Friedrich Engels in writing it.
The Manifesto opens with dramatic words: “A spectre is haunting Europe–the spectre of communism.” The Manifesto ends: “The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Workers of the world, unite.”
It took 69 years for Marx’s Manifesto to succeed. The year 1917. Vladimir Lenin led the world’s first successful communist revolution in Russia.
Communism has been a threat to the United States and world ever since.
Plumber just arrived. Good service. I asked where Frankie was. Frankie and wife Sandy Don’s Place and bocce friends. He and his wife Sandy vacationing in Cancun. Sandy arranged the visit for me via cellphone.
Impressive. Love the modern world!
The plumber already advised it is the thermostat. He is putting a new one in.
Enjoy your day!