We have seen many Bald Eagles in our travels around the country but nothing like last night. Here at the lake at our Orlando campground there was a group of about 40 circling and diving through the air. When Eagles gather, it is called a convocation. (I had to look that up…). It was a great sight. They are magnificent flyers, maintaining a trademark rigid back and neck as they soar. While finding convocation on the web, I was reminded that Congress named The American Bald Eagle our national bird in 1784. Ben Franklin objected thinking that the wild turkey would be a better choice. Eagles do eat carrion…but I am glad Congress went forward. I prefer a national bird that screes rather than one that gobbles.
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
- Spent many luscious hours at Marion and Gary's while in Sarasota....they were great hosts...especially for the mini-reunion....loved reminiscing!! Marion was there for the start of Bob and Cathy at UConn....great times at the museum, which was Bob's house at UConn senior year.....rented a professor's house filled with gorgeous items....even a Steinway grand piano....hence the name "museum"....it was party central!!! AHHHH Youth!
Had dinner with our neighbors from new house on Henderson Place....In an email to residents, Linda, who is our HOA rep, noted that they would be in Sarasota. So contacted them (had only met them for five minutes in Dec when buying house) and we met for dinner....Such fun!!! We have lots in common...Comforting to have friends in our new home in October! thanks Linda and Chris!
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
I am not much of a baseball fan. No favorite team, player, etc., although I followed the game quite a bit in my youth.
When I do watch, I am still intrigued by the subtleties of strategy and mental play that go into this often slow paced sport.
But here we are, in the midst of Spring Training so we decide to take in a game. Never had been to a Spring Training game. The local Sarasota team is the Baltimore Orioles. Orange. Today’s rival for the 1:05 first pitch on a sunny 78 degree day was the Toronto Blue Jays. Blue. Why a team would name themselves after one of Nature’s most annoying birds is beyond me, but there we were.
Pre game was cute with a local Police captain and also a Big Brother volunteer having one of his kids throw the first pitch. Kid got it right over the plate. Then our local Sarasota talent young vocalist was introduced to sing both countries Anthems. She was eye catching in a bright orange dress. Sadly, the microphone would not let her perform. Malfunction. After the second try, and mic failure again, a remarkable thing happening. The sizable half of the crowd wearing blue spontaneously broke into O Canada. Sang the whole difficult anthem, a capella, mostly in tandem throughout the thousands of them at the game, all the way through, gaining volume as they went along. It was a moment. One of those unrehearsed, unexpected things.
I loved it. Was moved by it. Pride of Nation. Something, it seems, we are trying to relearn right now for ourselves.
We got to sing our anthem to recorded music played over the PA. Must say, the folks from Canada upstaged us.
The game was fun. Lots of player substitutions as managers are trying to fine tune who they want to field on season opening day. There were some fine hits, great infield defensive play. A soaring home run and even a double steal to take runners on first and second to second and third to get out of double play danger. It worked perfectly as the runner to third was thrown out, but they could not get the runner out who advanced to the then vacated second base. So you had a runner in scoring position at second, two outs and, what was then the tying run at bat. It ultimately did not work out. But there it was, baseball strategy.
The Sarasota Ed Smith Stadium. Spring home of the Orioles.
We sat along right field and the stadium outfield is nicely framed by palm trees.
Unlike the big home stadiums, there is only one scoreboard at Ed Smith. Here it is in right center.
Saturday, March 18, 2017
They were having a Karaoke contest on Wednesday night….with celebrity judges….Tommy Mara (Crests…sang Step by Step), Jay Siegel (Tokens…sang Lion sleeps tonight) Vito (Elegants…sang Little Star) Dennis Tufano (lead singer from Buckinghams..sang Kinda of a Drag) and Freddie Cannon (Tallahasse Lassie). The prize for the top two was singing on our last night with Rocky and the Rollers (large band with 3 guitars, keyboard, drums and 3 horns) in front of 1000 people! Bob tried out with Crying by Roy Orbison. It was fun watching the judges go from amicably listening to being very, very impressed. You could see their faces change in gradation’s of thinking from “this guy is good”….to “Holy Smokes, this guy is great”. The crowd was hooting and hollering after the first verse...Bob really nailed it!!! Judges jumped up to a standing ovation at the end of the song..….Freddie Cannon, who is 80 years old and has been around a very long time….. ….said “Roy (Orbison) is smiling down at you…..Bob, you made him proud with that performance”. Then there was a sing-off with the top 3 people…Bob went second and sang “Kansas City”…..the 5 judges very quickly started to do a harmonizing back-up group…..What a thrill! After Bob was finished, Tommy Mara said….”Well Bob is a shoe-in, we just have to decide on second”. So nice to have great friends Jane and Ed with us to share the experience…..Have known them since 1979 when Bob went to work at Beringers. Jane and I did 2 trips to Grand Canyon together and she got me involved in the travel with disable adults that I have done. So lots of history. Many people came up to Bob in the next few days congratulating him…..including most all of the performers. Bob had to do a run through with the band on Saturday….Then the performance in the evening. Again he nailed it! Such a great experience….The video tells all….
Rock n Roll cruise with musicians from the 50s and 60s....Freddie Cannon,Gary Pucket and Union Gap, Gary Lewis and Playboys, Johnny Tillotsen, Tokens, Elegants, Lenny Welch, and others....Some great concerts and dances with wonderful music of that era......Fun with Ed and Jane, friends from California..known them since the Beringer Days!! Then on the cruise something happened (a good thing)...will post on it later!
Went for a drive on the birding trail in Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge...saw this very excited group....they had just spied a Great White Pelican from Africa (the one with the orange eye) hanging out with the local White Pelicans...first time this bird has been seen in this hemisphere...very cool!!! Surmise that it got caught in a hurricane and got pushed over the Atlantic Ocean and just kept going...how did he find some friends??? No one answered that!