Saturday, September 22, 2012

Home Again

Got home last night.  It was a great two weeks in Florida. Since my last posting here, I did a lot more.  Jane and I went to a South Pacific-style restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, the Mai-Kai.  Jane's friend Sherry's son - Jeremey - performed in the stage show there.  For a 10-year-old he had all the right moves for a Polynesian dancer.  The show included a bit of fire-play by two of the performers, spinning huge double-ended torches to the beat of the drums.  It beat the heck out of the "Fire-nesia" luau I went to in Hawaii two years ago, if not for the acrobatics then for the indoor fire stuff.

One day Jane and I went to the Fort Lauderdale Historic Society's museum near the RiverWalk area there.  Most of it is in the original New River Inn that had been built in the early 1900s for travellers on Flagler's Florida East Coast railroad.  Interesting displays and stories of the early days and how the army pushed the native population out. . . .  a not so nice part of our history.  Nicely preserved, too, is the King-Cromartie house, which we also got an individual tour thru - with our guide, Tim, a very good story teller.

We also went to the Fort Lauderdale Antique Car Museum.  The museum was all Packards.  The fellow who collected them was a florist shop owner in South Florida.  I was very impressed and learned a bit about the history of Packard cars and of some of the more unusual accessories that were on them (one of them was a hood ornament that also served as a radio antenna - quite inventive).  Among the cars was one that at one time was owned by Marjorie Post, for whom the town park back in Massapequa at the corner of Unqua and Merrick Roads is named, and who was the heir to C.W. Post's fortune (yes, daughter Beth - THAT C.W. Post, the guy who founded your Alma Mater and who founded Post Cereal).  Another one of the cars was reputed to have belonged to Clark Gable, but they have no documentation to conclusively prove it.

Packard modified a World War I troop-carrier truck to provide a fleet for this Canadian company

What kind of beer is that?

The antenna hood ornament

 Marjorie Post's Packard

On Monday, the 17th, I drove up to Port St. Lucie and Stuart.  Met with a real estate agent and toured two 55-and-over communities in West Port St. Lucie - King's Isle and Cascades.  I was more impressed with Cascades than with King's Isle, but for now I don't know if I'd want to move-in to either.  I also visited my dad's cousin, Mary Musina in the afternoon and then went to dinner with Maureen and Winston Hamilton at The Dolphin Bar in Jensen Beach (it used to be owned by Frances Langford - an old-time actress who often performed with Bob Hope - and the old 8x10 'glossies' of her and a lot of other actors and actresses who frequented the joint some years ago were still on the walls there.)  It was good to see and talk with Maureen and Winston again. . . .  Maureen was very encouraging about my moving from New York to Florida.  She and Win have been there 10 years now and are very glad to have made the move.

 Cassie, Maureen, me and Win at The Dolphin Bar in Jensen Beach

On Tuesday, the 18th, I picked up Aunt Helen and Uncle Alfred at the airport and brought them to their condo in Kingswood.  We aired the place out (it's been nearly a year since they were there), then went to dinner at Carrabba's on U.S. Route 1.  After dinner - when we returned to the condo - I worked on replacing the screening on their storm door.  Turned out to be more of a project than I had planned. . . .  I couldn't find the right type and size of spline to use to pinch in around the edges of the screening and it took me 3 trips to Home Depot before I finally got it right on Wednesday morning.

Helen and Alfred are doing well, but Alfred does have some trouble with balance.  He refuses to use a cane and sometimes falls as a result.  He took a minor spill while I was there, but he bounced right back to his feet with a bit of help from me and Bud, their maintenance man, who happened to be right there at the time working on charging up the battery on their car so that they could restart it (it had been sitting idle for all the time since their last visit).

I cruised around Stuart a bit that day, too, before leaving to go back to Pompano Beach again. . . .

 My brother Gerry and his Maureen's old Jensen Beach home

Downtown Stuart

House of Refuge, out on Hutchinson Island

Just a splash on the rocks, near House of Refuge

The gateway to Stuart (or Rio, depending on your approach)

The Lyric Theater, downtown Stuart

Downtown Stuart

One of the bridges of Martin County (across the St. Lucie River), seen from Stuart

The Sailfish fountain
 The waterbearer fountain, downtown

Jane took me to a photography art show on Wednesday.  We chatted with the two photographers. . . .  the work of the one reminded me a bit of son Jamie's occasional Facebook postings - where he snaps photos of unidentifiable stuff and leaves it to the viewer to figure out just what it is.  Well, when Jane told me that 'barka' (the word was included in the titles of all his photos) is the Spanish word for tree bark, I then realized what I was looking at.  But all of the photos were so different from each other that I still had a hard time visualizing how the different patterns of the tree bark in each one of them could possibly be just plain old tree bark.

I also went to so many restaurants the past two weeks that I lost count.  All were great.  Jane has a knack for choosing some of the most interesting places with some of the best food.  She knows the better 'mom and pop' shops around town - we had some varied fare at both some of what I'd call 'upscale' establishments as well as some 'blue collar' places.  And all of them had the tastiest and most mouth-watering food anyone could ask for.

It was a terrific two weeks.  But now I've got to get back to reality here.  Going from the high 80 degrees to New York's 50s when I arrived last night was a shock to my system.  I unpacked, went to the supermarket and caught up on the mail today.  And tomorrow, it's back to Fresnel Lens Building duty.

1 comment:

  1. Ahhhh, back to 50s... I miss fall weather. Careful what you wish for!! Sounds like a great trip all-around. Is this where my adventure gene came from??