Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Spyglass

When I moved to Clearwater in '82, my parents were living in a condo on Sand Key. They had some great friends in the building who I got to know as well.

One couple on the 5th floor was Mike and Sonya. She worked at Eckerd's corporate headquarters, he owned and operated the Spyglass Hotel on Clearwater Beach. Inherited from his dad it was one of the first with a kitchenette and right smack dab at the center of the beach. A perfect location.

When we got married one of our gifts from Mike was free rooms for anyone from out of town invited to our wedding. Over the years I decorated the lobby for Christmas, did the flowers for their daughter's wedding.... we were good friends...

At the age of 40 something, Mike died from a rare form of pneumonia... the same one that killed Jim Henson.

The years since haven't been especially kind to the Spyglass. It deteriorated, fell out of code, closed and rotted. All the while the mural Mike's dad had painted on the side a reminder of what once was.

Tonight it was imploded to make way for bigger and better. I guess. She went down in a cloud of glory on cable TV. Chris Angel used her like a circus freak. "Escaping" from the demo for all the world to see.

It's sad. The mayor of Clearwater called this landmark an eyesore. Another memory gone.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


... we stood in line for two and a half hours to get one.

It was our anniversary gift to each other.

The hype is real.

They are awesome!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

July 9, 1983

I moved to Florida June 1, 1982 A single mother of two elementary school aged daughters... starting over. "Meet people your own age", my mother said. NOT interested but unable to avoid her nagging, I agreed to attend a Parent's Without Partners meeting.

The median age was 65+, I was 32. There was a special 20's and 30's group. I walked in with my nose in the air, only to please my mother, who was baby sitting. I sat there thinking of ways to tell her this wasn't happening again. Meeting over. ::Sigh!:: The 20's/30's group were going to socialize at a near by night club. Knowing it was too early to go home I drove around before finally deciding to "stop by for one drink" so I could truthfully say I'd participated.

The last to arrive, there was only one vacant seat... next to the cute guy who was there only to get lucky. (He didn't) It was a rule you had to dance if asked. He did. It was nice. Eventually asking for a date... dinner the next night. I went. Dinner and then dancing at the beach. Then PWP volleyball on Monday... he picked me up.

July 9, 1983... in my living room, we were married witnessed by 25 family and dear friends.

Tonight, 25 years later, friends from our Wednesday night dinner group are hosting a formal, intimate dinner party in our honor. Sometimes if seems like yesterday. Sometimes it seems like forever. There have been many trials and tribulations. For better or worse. Sickness and health. And so far... as long as we both shall live.