Last night was a special evening!
It was Mary Jo’s birthday!
Normally it is in poor taste to mention a woman’s age. But in Mary Jo’s case it is ok! Mary Jo is terminally ill. She was not expected to make her 70th birthday yesterday. In fact, she was not supposed to be with us for the Christmas holidays!
So last night was an unusually special birthday occasion for Mary Jo and her many friends!
Mary Jo is special. She suddenly appeared in Key West 10 years ago. I have no idea where she came from. But she was here and immediately every one knew her. And more importantly, liked her!
A bit tough appearing. However there is no one more gentle! Always a hug! Always a smile! And always a kiss with those big red lipstick lips which were her trademark!
She was a lip smacker indeed! I always worried I would walk away with lipstick all over my face. But no, Mary Jo used the non smear kind. A thoughtful woman she was and still is!
She has experienced two great love affairs while in Key West. Good for her! Some of us do not even know one! And last night she enjoyed her third great love affair. The people of Key West and Mary Jo!
The party was at La Te Da. Planned by Donna, one of her former partners, and La Te Da’s owner Mark.
Scheduled for 7, La Te Da was already filling at 6:30 when I arrived. By 7:30 when Mary Jo arrived, it was jam packed! The whole place! The inside bar, the dining area and the outside bar. And La Te Da was ready for her! The place was decorated as never before. And the food spread was fit for a King! No, A Queen! Queen Mary Jo!
Mary Jo knew about the party.
She arrived in elegance! A black pants tuxedo, that small thing women wear under a jacket (a camisole I think) and a bright red bow tie surrounding her naked neck. Delightfully offsetting her trademark red lips. A beautiful woman magnificently attired for the occasion!
The party again was a well planned event. The credit for the special touches belonging to Donna!
Prior to Mary Jo’s arrival, white T shirts saying Happy 70th Birthday Mary Jo were handed out. A pair of huge red lips also adorned the T shirts! What else! Great thinking!
Everyone put them on over whatever else they were wearing. And also large plastic bright red lips! The kind kids stick in their mouths to goof around. We all stuck the red lips in our lips! For Mary Jo! So that when she came through the door, she saw the wave of T shirts and red lips all accompanied by shouts of happy birthday Mary Jo!
All of Key West was there.
A loving tribute to a loving caring woman! One of Key West’s finest!
Mary Jo will not be with us next year at this time. Perhaps we can have another party. And remember Mary Jo!
I am sure we will!