On To The Weekend

First things first. My tooth pain has greatly subsided. There’s still swelling on the gum, but I’m hoping that’s from the injections. The tooth is in my drawer, where it now belongs.

Let me add, though I took a sick day from work Thursday, Friday was already scheduled as a vacation day. Bad timing on my part.

We once had an employee at the station who tried to explain to my boss that since she was sick on her vacation day, it should count as a sick day. That’s chutzpah.

I was well enough to head to the shoreline for a planned family celebration. I’ve been told to keep my mouth shut on what was being celebrated, but we went to Lenny’s in Branford.

I was petrified to go! I’d run into Lenny’s daughter while having my hair cut and she told me how the place had been remodeled. Didn’t she understand? The charm of Lenny’s was that it looked like it was built out of whatever was stored in someone’s garage.

I’m glad to say the main dining room has been remodeled… the particle board removed from the walls… but it’s lost none of its charm. That’s a tall order. It looks nice – really, not just compared to its older self.

We weren’t going to Lenny’s for the ambiance. We were going for fried shrimp for the girls and the shore dinner for me.

Even with only one half of my mouth operating, it was great! The lobster, the mussels, the corn – excellent. Why you only get two clams is beyond me, but that ‘s what the dinner calls for. My only ‘customization’ was getting a bowl of Rhode Island clam chowder&#185 instead of a cup.

Through dinner and the rest of the evening I was a little woozy. It wasn’t enough to stop me, but I certainly was in no condition to operate heavy equipment. Helaine drove and I was grateful to be her passenger.

When we got home, I napped. I couldn’t sleep all night because there was a test to be taken for my Oceanography class.

I took the test around 3:00 AM. This should be an interesting grade because I wasn’t really able to concentrate on reading the text necessary to answer the questions. I had the attention span of a toy poodle.

Back to bed at 4:00.

By the time I woke up this morning, I had gotten over 16 hours of sleep in the last 24. On the other hand, I was feeling better, which was good because I had long standing plans for a friend to visit.

I’ve known Bob since my first professional day in radio, early fall 1969. Bob was a disk jockey at WSAR in Fall River, MA, where I started.

When I first me him he was Skippy Ross, then Skip Tyler, now (for over thirty years) Bob Lacey. With his partner Sheri Lynch, Bob presides over a very successful, syndicated morning radio show. It’s a show considered ‘woman friendly.’

Bob had left Charlotte, NC Thursday afternoon and had been hanging around New England since Thursday evening. Though I’d tried getting him on his cell phone a few times, he was unreachable.

By early this morning there was a discussion whether Bob was actually going to show or not. It was starting to look like ‘not’ had won when the phone rang.

He showed up an hour later and we hopped in the convertible on what had turned into a spectacular spring day. The sky was blue, temperature warm, humidity about right. We were heading toward the shoreline.

Bob had actually grown up around New Haven and knows those parts of the area that haven’t changed over the last 40 years – which is most of it!

First stop was lunch. We went to a place call “The Place” in Guilford. “The Place” is one of a kind.

You sit outside (in the open or under a tent-like cover) on old tree stumps. The food (lobster, clams, chicken and the like) are cooked out of door on a long wood fired grill. When your order is ready, the grill it cooked on is brought to your table.

The owner, Vaughn, kvetched about the weather. I would think to a place like this good weather means good business and a May like we had means… well, it wasn’t a good sign.

Bob had a lobster and I had clams. I’m sorry to be positive about everything, but it was great.

Next up we drove down the Turnpike into Old Lyme and then headed randomly into an area called “Miami Beach.” We drove down Hartford Avenue and I was astounded – 21 years in Connecticut and I’d never been to this cool, vest pocket, beach community.

A friendly cop showed us where we could park and we were off. This is a really nice beach. As Connecticut’s Long Island Sound beaches go, it is broad and white. There are plenty of stones which makes barefoot walking a little tougher.

Of course Bob and I were dressed totally wrong for a day at the beach – both wearing long pants.

We moved off the beach itself and into an open air beachfront bar. Bob had a beer and I a Diet Coke ($5+$2 tip). Reggae music was wafting in and it was perfect on this idyllic day.

Like “The Place,” I have to wonder how open air establishments like this make it in the ratified air of a short season Connecticut summer, and with total dependence on good weather. Every season has got to be make or break. I thought about that as I sipped my Coke.

We didn’t have long. Bob had dinner plans with some friends he’s known longer than me. We continued east to Mohegan Sun, the closer of the two Connecticut mega casinos.

Bob was stunned. It is a very impressive place. And, the shopping area with its upscale shops connecting the old and new casinos is elegantly glitzy.

Bob wanted to play craps, though he hadn’t played in years. I pulled $60 out of my pocket and quickly turned it into $15 – good going. Bob had similar luck, but on a lesser scale.

We headed for the car and headed back home.

Bob will be back in Connecticut in the middle of August. We’re hoping to see the Red Sox and visit WSAR’s studio. Truth is, hanging with a friend is the important part. The rest is just icing on the cake.

&#185 – I had never heard of Rhode Island clam chowder until I moved to Connecticut. Manhattan is red, New England is creamy and Rhode Island is a clear broth. When properly spiced, it’s great and nowhere as heavy as New England. As for Manhattan clam chowder – please! Who’s eating that?

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