Great Christmas party last night at Larry and Christine Smith’s home! The joy of the holiday season permeated the occasion. It was a very happy evening!

You have heard me mention Christine in the past. She is a school teacher by day and a singer by night. That …by night… thing sounds sort of ominous. What I failed to share with you previously is that she also was Teacher of the Year for the entire school system a couple of years ago. A charming and talented woman! And last night the perfect hostess!

Larry is recognized as the premier musician in Key West. His gig the last few years has been the Pier House, a huge first class resort at the gulf end of Duval Street. He is responsible for all entertainment at the Pier House and can also be found several evenings a week at the old Wine Galley there playing the piano and singing.

Larry has a special talent in that he tends to bring people together. Strangers become acquaintances. Acquaintances become friends. And it all starts at the Wine Galley with Larry.

Ergo most of the people last night knew each other and had become friends via the Larry/Wine Galley process.

There were about 35 enjoying the evening.

Harlan flew in from Costa Rica for the party. He actually arrived during the party and was picked up at the airport. Larry just returned a few days ago after spending a week with Harlan in Costa Rica.

Harlan found Key West many years ago. He had been a business man here and eventually semi retired. He has a limousine business in New York which he has been able to successfully run out of his Key West home with only an occasional trip to New York.

Harlan also discovered Costa Rica along the way. And he fell in love while there.

Harlan is in his mid 50s. A warm guy. But his appearance and actions is brush New York City. Sort of the Rudy Giuliani type.

Harlan fathered a child with his love. The little girl was born several weeks ago. Harlan was excited. This was his first born. I recall in a telephone conversation his telling me he could look in her eyes and see himself.

His daughter lived only two weeks.

Harlan was a bit different last night. His eyes are quieter. His gait slower. The bounce in his step missing. His motions subtle.

Today Harlan flies to New York to take a look at his business. He is coming back a step at a time.

Back to the party. A tremendous success! The booze flowed. The food was unique. A pizza party! Other than a sporting event, I had never been to a per se pizza party.

It worked! It was terrific! The holiday warmth enveloped all. And I had the feeling that a smiling Santa was perched on Larry’s fence watching over us!

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