An interesting memorial party

The next 3-4 weeks are very critical to the citrus trees in terms of potential frost damage. All the trees are putting on new growth and blossoms so they’re at the tenderest stage. The current 7 day forecasts keep us way above the frost range so it’s looking positive. Last year we had a late frost that banged the satsuma tree particularly hard and it’s operated way short of leaves all year. It did ok in the fruit department but looked weird with oranges hanging on bald looking branches.

Went to another – third since the start of 2011 – memorial for an old friend. This one was remarkable. First the honoree was a guy I went to high school with. We were not close friends in high school and then I never saw or thought about him until two years ago. At that point we learned in a casual conversation that he was the brother in law of friends of ours, the Richberg’s. We actual met again 2 years ago at the Richberg’s 50th wedding anniversary. We had a couple of drinks and I expected we would never see each other again. Last week Joe Richberg contacted us and said Sam had passed and that there would be a celebration at his house in Indiatlantic and that he and Joan would be there if we wanted to get together. Joey and Mark are remodeling a new house about 10 miles away and we wanted to see how that was going so decided just to make a day of it.

We found the place with no problem and I was surprised at the number of cars there. The neighborhood was a typical ‘50-’60’s, concrete block. jalousie window, beach neighborhood Houses in the 1400SF size range on 75‘x100′ lots a block or so from the beach. I was totally blown away when I entered through the garage that had been remodeled into a bar. Not just a typical, in house bar, but one that looked like you had stepped into a bar at an older B&B in Key West. Beautiful, old wood construction and seashore, deep sea kind of decor. Lot’s of noise, a friendly bartender and Jimmy Buffet background music. Picked up a drink and headed into the house. Every bit of the house was tropical colors and decor – all first class. He had added on a large screened back porch which had a raffia like fringe to make the whole thing feel like being inside a tiki hut. Several round, tall bar tables were located around so you had the impression you were at a beach bar – deep sea diving kinds of equipment for decor. All very classy. Then you went outside where he had built a raised deck with a sunken hot tub. This deck was maybe 30′ x 30′ with beach tables and chairs spotted around. One side of the deck was a wood working shop where he built all the stuff; the house itself was one boundary and an 8‘ wooden fence finished it off. Between the back of the screened porch and the property line – a strip about 50′ x 20′ – contained one huge bird of paradise plant. Envision a paradise plant that was 50′ tall x 30′ long x 10′ deep. Not a blade of grass or soil anywhere in the yard. It was all party area. So from the moment you entered the house you were transported into a tropical party environment. I was ready to move in. You could never have guessed from the simple neighborhood and the road exterior of the house what you were entering. And the party goers were perfect casting. All manner of dress – nothing formal but any manner of beach denizen garb. Old folks like us to drop dead, knock out chickies and everything in between.

As I said at the beginning, I really didn’t know this guy at all, but seeing the place he built and the friends he had – his personality just leapt out at you and I really hate it that I didn’t get to know him again before he passed on.

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