By vegging Emmet
It’s hard to believe, now that Blue Eyes and I have taken to the couch after 31 years together, but we used to go places and do things besides watching Netflix. We made a night of it for our anniversary this week for an alfresco dinner at the fabulous Samoset.
The memories came flooding back. The first date was to a Kinks concert in Portland. We attend very few concerts now. We always get seats beside drunks who are much more interested in yakking than listening to the music. The last one we went to was at the State Theater where the temperature (no air conditioning) reached at least 100 degrees. Never again.
It is critically hard to believe but we used to ski at Sugarloaf, a week at a time. The first time we went, when Virginia Larsen offered her trailside condo, was White World Week. We had never heard of it, but the tickets were $10 a day, compared to $80 now. I believe it was the best time we ever had and a reason (there must be something) that she has stuck with me for three decades. No skiing anymore. Too old, too tired, to afraid a broken something.
I am absolutely terrified of flying but I did manage to go to Ireland twice. We stayed at the family farm in Ballyvourney and drove to the top of the area hills. Wild sheep danced in front of our rental car, “That’s it. I’m Irish,” she declared in the emotion of the day. She is actually French-Lithuanian. Naturally, my Irish Catholic relatives assigned us to separate beds during the visit.
One of my favorite times was the hotel on the river in Ft. Myers, Florida. (We drove). They had a chef that would make omelets to order and we would eat at a riverside table. After a swim in the huge pool next to our room, we would saunter off to City of Palms Park, to watch the Red Sox, two blocks away. Probably not her first choice, but definitely mine.
We never got to Gettysburg together. When we (she) saved enough money for the trip, she could not get the time off. We “compromised” with a trip to Boston and a stay at the Ritz. I grew up in Boston, walked by the place a hundred times but never dreamed of staying there. We (she) had shopped all the way down and the car was full of packages. Before the valet (valet!) took the car away I quizzed him on the safety of the hotel garage. I think I blushed later when we were having drinks in the lounge and a parade of Bentleys, Rolls and Porches arrived outside the window. And I was worried about by 12-year-old, dented Honda. The funny part was when the doorman, the valet and the bellhop stood at the car door with their hands out as we were leaving. I gave one of them a fiver and headed off on Newbury Street. Let them figure it out.
An itinerant musician named Greg Naughton stayed at Cobb Manor one summer. I told him one night that “Joanne” had called and he laughed. It was Joanne Woodward who was directing an off-Broadway revival of “Golden Boy,” starring…Greg Naughton.
We were invoted the final performance. What a night. I promised that Paul Newman would show up and Blue Eyes just laughed. When we sat down, Cicely Tyson and the star of “Northern Exposure” were sitting behind us. Between acts, naturally I got up for liquid refreshment. Standing beside me was a man I like to call Paul Newman. He ordered a Budweiser for each hand. If I had a half a brain, I would have bought them and get bragging rights for the rest of my life. He was too fast. Blue Eyes just gasped.
On another trip (hard to believe) we sailed into New York Harbor aboard the Schooner Bowdoin, for the anniversary of the State of Liberty. Got robbed.
We used to go out dancing at Camden’s Garage, when the bands started at 8 p.m. She loved to dance and I loved to watch her.
Now, by 8 p.m., Netflix is on and at least one of us is asleep.
But it has been a fabulous ride.