Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Wayne Russell writes

A Day in the Life

Life is a dance with death on a daily basis, life is a struggle to stay sane enough to keep our heads above a rabid sea of filth.

Life is bills and payments to be made, ones that I cannot pay due to lack of work; lack of work leaves you bleeding pulverized in a Tampa Bay shanty town; drunk off money that you either stole from a clueless passerby or panhandled from a kind hearted person, kind enough to know that you would take the money they gifted you and run straight to the package store to buy a cheap six pack of beer and some smokes if you really panhandled superbly that day.

Kids running past me on the way home from school, blinded by youth and naivety, poke faces at the homeless and downtrodden basket people. They see me as I spit on the ground, through gapped yellow brown teeth; I do an odd take on an old Irish jig that I learned in a pub in Scotland back in my 20's.

The kids are no longer poking fun; they run away like a frightened pack of youthful coyote pups, they vanish over the horizon line, down past the Baptist church, down past the shops and bars and English pub, the deli with the best pressed Cuban sandwiches on earth, they run past the hooker named Lola wearing a pair of electric blue nylons with runs and moth holes eaten clear through.

Lola laughs and throws her track lined arms up towards the cloudless skies; God shakes his head and turns away from his creations run amuck, in disgust.

I finish my last beer and light up a smoke. Walking towards Lola I o
ffer her one and she snatches it; I light it and laugh, then I walk on down the uneven sidewalks of the city and look for a place to call home for the night. 

Image result for lola painting

Portrait of Lola -- Chris Denovan


  1. The "Mason City Globe Gazette" in 1934 said that Tampa's cooking was "much more distinctive than elsewhere in the state" and listed Cuban pressed sandwiches and Cuban bread among the city's signature foods. The La Joven Francesca bakery, established by the Sicilian-American Francisco Ferlita in 1896 in Ybor City, a thriving Cuban-Spanish-Italian community in Tampa, was probably the first American bakery to produce Cuban bread, and it made home deliveries every morning; deliverymen would impale a fresh loaf onto a sturdy nail driven into the door frame on the front porch. Cuban bread is usually made in baguette-like loaves that are about a meter long and somewhat rectangular crossways (as compared to the rounder Italian or French bread loaves). It has a hard, thin, almost papery toasted crust and a soft flaky center, and generally it includes lard or vegetable shortening. Because it uses no preservatives, it goes stale quickly and should be eaten soon after baking. (In Tampa, stale Cuban bread is often used in other recipes, such as the breading of a deviled crab.) Originally the dough was stretched thin to make it last, creating the bread's distinctive air pockets and long shape, but now bakers put a long, moist palmetto frond on top, creating a shallow trench in the upper crust. The bread alone may be served as a simple breakfast, especially toasted and pressed with butter and served with (or dunked into) a hot mug of cafe con leche (strong, dark-roasted Cuban coffee with scalded milk). The Cuban pressed sandwiches (sometimes called a Cuban mix, a mixto, or a Cubano) probably originated in cafes catering to Cuban workers in Key West and Ybor City, Tampa, two early Cuban immigrant communities in Florida; in 2012 it was named the city's "signature sandwich" by the municipal council. Cuban bread is sliced into 8–12 in (20–30 cm) lengths, lightly buttered or brushed with olive oil on the crust, cut horizontally in half, and coated with yellow mustard; then sliced pork (which has been marinated in mojo and slow roasted), glazed ham, Swiss cheese, and thinly sliced dill pickles are added in layers; in Tampa, Genoa salami is also layered in, but it is left off n south Florida. Then it is toasted in a plancha, which is similar to a panini press but without grooved surfaces, and left there until the bread is slightly crispy and the cheese is melted. Then it cut into diagonal halves. The earliest mentions of a distinct Cuban sandwich are found in descriptions of workers' cafés in Ybor City and West Tampa from ca. 1900, but it may have been developed as a lunch food for workers in the cigar factories and sugar mills of Cuba and the cigar factories of Key West; the cigar industry in Florida shifted to Tampa in the mid-1880s, and tens of thousands of Cuban workers moved to the area over the next decade. In the late 1800s and early 1900s travel between Cuba and Florida (especially Key West and Tampa) was easy, and Cubans frequently sailed back and forth for employment, pleasure, and family visits. A similar sandwich is the medianoche ("midnight"), which contains the same ingredients but is smaller and served on egg bread (similar to challah), which is softer and sweeter than Cuban bread.

    1. very interesting history thank you, knowledge is power and multi culture planet is the spice of life.


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