Saturday, February 24, 2018

Wild Bill and the Champagne Chairs


Is this not a quintessential Florida scene? That's a street at the mobile home park where Dave's parents spend the winter. The guy on the bicycle is known as Wild Bill, and he rides around and around the neighborhood -- I bet I saw him ten times yesterday. He is as tanned as a briefcase.


I went out to breakfast with Dave's parents yesterday, and ate two eggs and a huge pancake that pretty much killed my enthusiasm for food for the rest of the day. (It was good, though, and well worth the sacrifice!) Then I walked around the neighborhood and took some photos, encountering Wild Bill numerous times, and finally returned to the in-laws' and watched Olympic curling on TV. I don't understand curling at all, and the three of us tried to make sense of it -- it seems a little like shuffleboard on ice with big rocks -- but honestly we were all pretty bewildered.


I was amused to see that Dave's parents not only saved my champagne-cork-cage-chair (say that three times fast!) from 2013, as well as its companion from 2017, but have crafted some more of their own! They've got a regular used-furniture store going now.

I left their place shortly after a light, post-pancake, cheese-and-crackers lunch, and drove north to the tip of Anna Maria Island to stay my final night in Florida with my college friends John and Sue. We had pizza for dinner and went for beers on the local pier and at a neighborhood bar we've been frequenting since we were just out of school. The place hasn't changed one bit in 30 years -- except it's been dusted a few times. Possibly.

By the way, apropos of nothing, when I mentioned flowering trees the other day I said jacarandas bloom about now. But when I drove into Tampa I didn't see any, and doing some research I've learned they bloom later in the spring. So, a correction! My bad!

I'll be headed back to London tonight on an evening flight.

13 comments:

ellen abbott said...

kind of a whirlwind trip this time hitting all the bases.

Ms. Moon said...

Poor Wild Bill. What a life! "Tanned as a suitcase."
Great line!
Love the mermaid.
Have safe travels home.

37paddington said...

Those champagne cage chairs are the coolest. And what a great description--tanned as a briefcase; it works on many levels.

Marty Damon said...

I'm loving your travelogue. It's incredible how much you find to see. LOVE (and want) the mid-century stucco apartments on the previous post.

Vivian Swift said...

Ah, that 1980s color scheme of turquoise and salmon brings back memories. In fact, the '80s might be the last decade that I can remember in color -- it seems that everything has gone all earth tones and shades of gray since then and I don't mean metaphorically. Every parking lot is full of cars that range in hue from black to light gray, although I notice that white is a hot color this year. I hang my gray coat up at the gym and every other garment on the rack is just a little bit lighter or darker...but still gray. The workout clothes are all shades of gray, but the ladies are wearing leggings that have sheer panels in them, for no purpose but to show some skin around the calf or ankles. Gray is still the most popular color for home decor (wall paint, appliances, rugs).

I say it all the time. I miss the '80s.

robin andrea said...

Love those champagne cork chairs! It always amazes me what creativity can produce with the simplest of objects. Well done! Have a safe journey home.

Jennifer said...

Vivian is right when she says everything seems to be shades of gray and earth tones these days. I also miss the 80s when everything seemed to be in COLOR!

I've really enjoyed your Florida posts even though I've had very little time to comment this week. Safe travels back home, Steve!

Sharon Anck said...

Yes, that is a perfect Florida scene. Even the well tanned fellow on the bike fits in perfectly. Have a safe flight across the pond!

Catalyst said...

Pancakes and pizza and beer! Hope you'll be able to fasten the seat belt, Steve!

e said...

That scene should be a post card! Safe travels.

Red said...

The game of curling is very simple . It's when technique and strategy kink in that things get interesting.

jenny_o said...

My husband knows enough to turn down the volume when curling is on. I swear if I hear Hurry, Hurry Hard! one more time in my remaining life it will be one time too many :)

I love those little cafe chairs. And "tanned as a briefcase." Heh heh heh Ima use that next chance I get :D

The Bug said...

We love curling! But I don't understand it very well. I just like how people who don't look the least bit athletic are in the Olympics. Ha!