Donna Barnett was my house guest. She came and she went. Just like that.

Donna is married to Terri of Broadway fame. Donna is Terri’s manager. They are frequently my house guests. Love them both!

They have become Broadway people. Donna arrived Friday. We had dinner together. That was the last time I saw her, except for Mary Jo’s party yesterday.

Broadway people live on a different time schedule than the rest of us.They get up three in the afternoon. Breakfast at 5 PM. Work. Have dinner at midnight. Then go out for the evening. Return to bed at three or four in the morning.

My sleeping/wake schedule is normal. Up at six in the morning. Generally to bed by 10 in the evening.

Now you can understand why Donna and I did not see much of each other the past few days.

I started yesterday by boxing at the gym. I believe the exercise is helping. I feel better. However, I am gaining weight. Sort of an inconsistency. Soon, I will have to diet also.

Mary Jo Da Silva. To know her was a privilege.

Mary Jo came to Key West about 14 years ago. Around the same time I bought my Key West home. We became friends. Mary Jo became every one’s friend.

A  first class woman. A kind one, also.

Mary Jo was diagnosed with cancer  five years ago. She survived for a long time after the diagnosis. She handled the whole thing well. Better than most  would. She was frequently doing chemo. She was required to go to the hospital overnight for the procedure. Occasionally, I would visit with her at the hospital while she was undergoing the chemotherapy.

Mary Jo was friend to all. Crazy about dancing. You could find her most evenings at La Te Da on the dance floor.

Mary Jo died last August. There was a small party at the time. However many of her friends were gone from Key West for the summer. So a celebration of her life party was scheduled for yesterday.

Lynda Frechette and Terry Johnston arranged for everything. Mary Jo’s son Matt flew in from California.

It was a party!

There was a special tribute to Mary Jo. Mary Jo was known by her big bright red lips. She would take her tiny natural lips, coat them heavy with bright red lipstick, thereby making them larger. Her bright red lips were her trade mark.

Yesterday at the party, out of respect for Mary Jo, many of the women either had their lips bright red or wore bright red apparel. Slacks, blouses, shoes and the like.

Bobby Nesbitt was with us. A Key West singer/piano player, in addition to being friend to Mary Jo. Every Wednesday night he used to sing and play at Quest for two hours. Now it is Aqua. Mary Jo attended each of his performances. One of the songs which Bobby played each performance was Climb Every Mountain.

As Bobby played it, several of the ladies in attendance would take paper napkins, place them on their heads and form a line. They became instant nuns! And they sang and made motions to Climb Every Mountain. Ten of the ladies yesterday did the same thing. Everyone joined in to sing Climb Every Mountain. It was a teary moment.

Rest in peace, Mary Jo.

I left La Te Da and went over to the Chart Room. I was surprised at who was there. My good friend Kurt. He told me he thought I would show up and that’s why he was there. Pat and Robert with him. He also had someone I met for the first time by the name of Michael. We sat and drank a bit and enjoyed our time together.

I found Michael interesting He is a relatively young man. Around 30. American by birth. Ended up in Peru somehow and married a Peruvian lady. He lived in Peru until recently and has two children. He started a restaurant business. It went bust. He’s up here bartending and trying to put together some money to go back and reopen another restaurant

Money is different in Peru. He told me that anyone on a U.S. Social Security check could live in Peru and not need any other money. $2000 a month would be a kingly sum and more than takes care of everything. That includes a live in maid, food, medical, etc. Even nights out on the town.

Peru, here I come!

We split after the Chart Room. They were off to I don’t know where to drink a bit more. I needed to eat. Chinese entered my mind. Chinese it was. I ended up at the Chinese restaurant in the Sears shopping center.

I enjoyed the meal, though I do not believe it was that healthy for me. I read the newspapers while sitting there. It was calm and peaceful.

Syracuse basketball again this evening! Syracuse plays Villanova. Tip off is 7 PM. As usual, I will be at the Sports Page Bar watching the game.

Enjoy your day! .

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