Good morning world!

Not to disappoint my Key West friends, the Utica weather report: It is gray outside. No sun today.

Yesterday was a good day! Experiences were many.

My father and I had lunch together for the third consecutive day. At 99. That is the name of the restaurant, not my father’s age. Though close, as he is 93. 99 is a chain. Good solid basic foot. We both had onion soup and wings. We both had great conversation.

After lunch I suggested we drive over to my daughter Lori’s home and visit with her and my 6 year old grandson Andrew. My grandson and my father’s great grandson! Unfortunately no one was home.

As I was backing out the driveway, I made my cut into the road too soon. My car ended up with its right back end sitting on top of and into a four foot snowbank!

I tried rocking the car out to no avail. No rock at all! I looked for a shovel in my daughter’s garage. No shovel! What a wonderful country! Shovels are no longer required by some. Just pay and someone will be by to keep your driveway and walks clean!

Anyhow I telephoned the whole world for assistance. On the Saturday before Christmas, I could reach no one. Except for my son John. He was at the wake I planned on attending later in the day. I reported my plight. Told him to get his twin sons and come to the rescue. The boys were at basketball practice. So John and his wife arrived alone. And John brought a shovel! Oh, the little things in life!

He shoveled. And shoveled! And shoveled! His wife tried to rock the car. No luck! It was in too deep. I had done a good job!

By this time I was beginning to feel like an asshole. In defense, I would tell you that the last time I had a car get stuck in the snow was at least 40 years ago.

It suddenly dawned on me I had an AAA card. Not sure whether the organization responded to snow stuck vehicles, I put in a call. In 20 minutes the rescue wagon appeared! A tow truck with a big electric chain on the back. The service man hooked up the chain to the back of my car and voila it was pulled out. Cleanly and slowly and gently!

I have not used my AAA card in ten years. I have sometimes wondered why I pay them $200 a year for nothing. Many the year I have been tempted not to renew. Yesterday I found out why I have need for the card!

Last night we had dinner at the Turning Stone Casino. In the heart of upstate New York, in the middle of onion farming country, only 14 miles from Utica we are blessed with an Indian casino. An American Indian casino.

It is Las Vegas in the middle of no where. Besides the gambling rooms, it has great restaurants in all price ranges, a fantastic spa, 4 great golf courses and whatever else an outstanding resort offers. Hard to believe!

After a great meal in the upscale Wildwoods restaurant, I visited the new dancing room which just opened. I refer to it as a dancing room because that simply is what it is. It is called Lava. And is it hot!

I am 72 and have been all over the world. Never anywhere have I seen something like this! Two floors of great huge semi moon leather couches and a very very very large dance floor. And smoke and flashing lights from every direction covering the dance floor! What a visual experience! What a physical experience!

The best thing that ever happened to the Indians was our government screwing them 200 years ago! We done them bad! Now what has gone around has come around for them! And justifiably so!

One last piece of information. The Casino is the largest employer in central New York. It employs approximately 6,000 persons. This area has been economically depressed for over 50 years. I doubt even back when things were good that we had any employer who employed 6,000 people or anywhere near that number! Turning Stone has turned out to have been a blessing in disguise for not only the Indians, but for all their neighbors here. It is Thanksgiving every day in central New York!

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