Greetings from Boynton Beach II

I pride myself on the fact that I write something on the blog every day. That didn’t happen yesterday. I wanted to write – just too tired.

I mentioned earlier that I had seen my old friend Ralph on Monday. What I didn’t mention is, I didn’t get to bed until after 3:30 AM. Between blogging and doing some Photoshop work for Helaine, I wasn’t finished until then.

Yesterday, I went and played golf with my dad. We played a the Kings Point golf course, located at an older condo complex near here. The course was short – lots of water.

The weather was superb. It’s even better with the knowledge that temperatures back home went below zero overnight with windchills down in the ‘surface of the moon’ range.

Today’s weather at home:

Today’s weather here in Florida:

As a golfer, I stink.

I remember seeing articles about the “worst regular golfer in America.” I am sure that I’d qualify as a finalist in that competition, if I didn’t take the main prize.

I have said this to people before and they usually think it’s some sort of false modesty. No, it is not. I am awful at golf. I am awful at all athletic endeavors.

When I was a kid, being bad at sports was a problem. Sports and athletic acumen helps create the kid hierarchy. As an adult, I just don’t care. And, most adults don’t care how I play either.

Yesterday, it was my dad and me and two strangers we were hooked up with. Our partners were both older than my father who is 78. So, I had at least 25 years on the group. I was still the worst player in our foursome – it wasn’t close.

This, off course, begs the question, why play at all? There are a few reasons, not the least of which is, it is played out of doors, normally in beautiful surroundings. The most important reason is the one, maybe two, shots per game when you really hit it right (even though that is just as much an accident as the one you splashed into the lake at a 45&#176 angle from the fairway).

If I were to try and take the field with an NFL team, or go to the hoop versus an NBA player or stand in against major league pitching, I’d have no chance. But in golf, every once in a while, I will hit a ball just as good as the pros. I’m not talking about off the tee, but when I’m closer in to the hole, or even already on the green. In fact, if you watch the pros play on TV, they sometimes miss ‘easy’ shots. Hey, I can do that too!

We played 18 holes and I probably lost 9-10 balls! Suddenly the round of golf has gone up in cost. However, like the credit card commercials: A round of golf with my dad – priceless.

We got home around 5:00 PM, I took a shower and was out the door for dinner in Ft. Lauderdale with my friend Wendie. Wendie is my ex-boss. I have kept in touch with most my of the news directors I’ve worked for, but I am closest with Wendie.

She works in Miami as the Executive Producer of Nightly Business Report on PBS. Though less glamorous and well publicized than the other daily financial shows, it is the most watched. That surprised me too, but broadcast still has a vastly greater reach than cable.

Wendie picked a restaurant equidistant to the two of us (OK – she lied – it was much closer to her), Mango on East Las Olas Boulevard in Ft. Lauderdale.

East Los Olas is reminiscent of Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena, Lincoln Road in Miami Beach, The Gaslight District in San Diego, or any number of other streets filled restaurants and artists. Wendie had fish and I had seafood over pasta. Very good and the atmosphere was nice. Most of all it was nice to catch up with Wendie. Good friends are tough to come by.

After dinner we attempted to walk some dinner off (Wendie – a gym rat – is in much better shape than I am), going in and out of stores. We especially enjoyed an art gallery that specialized in cartoon cells and other animation art. Considering this stuff is a byproduct of the actual work of producing the cartoons, and would be made whether it was later sold or not, it’s awfully expensive. There were a few really cool ones from The Simpsons and Rocky and Bullwinkle.

By 9:30, I was on the road again, heading north toward my parent’s place. I made a few wrong turns and a few phone calls. I am fairly pleased with Cingular’s GSM service here in South Florida. I have only had one call dropped and always had service. If it could only work like this at home!

One of the most interesting sights on I-95 (a very boring trip for sightseers) is the logo on the side of the building housing Don King Enterprises. Don’s logo is a crown with KING at the bottom and the slogan: “Only in America.” Is he referring to the fact that a man convicted of manslaughter couldn’t make it this big in another country? Probably. To my way of thinking, “Only in America” in this context isn’t a glowing endorsement of America.

I used to live here in South Florida when I was starting out in radio in early 1970. The area my parents live, where I’m sitting right now, was swamp! In fact, the ‘end of civilization’ is miles and miles farther west than I could have ever imagined.

This is an area of great and continued growth. You can’t drive far without seeing another strip shopping center or big box category killer store. There are more doctors, clinics and banks than anywhere else I’ve ever been.

With a huge population of seniors, many with fairly substantial amounts of disposable income and few expenses, shopping is thriving. I would guess, for these municipalities and the county (my parents live in an unincorporated portion of Palm Beach County), the elderly population is a godsend – paying taxes without sending kids to school.

One last thing before I go. I continue to go without shaving. The last time I was touched by the razor was Friday – so 5 days. I think I’m starting to agree with Helaine. It looks awful! And, it’s a little uncomfortable. I’ll give it a few more days.

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