BOCCE BOCCE BOCCE

Bocce playoffs today!

A big deal!

Top teams, colorful tents, families, babies, food, alcohol, tension!

I missed bocce thursday night. Don’s Place went into the last evening in first place. Came out in second place. By losing only one game. Hell’s Rangers first.

Playoffs begin today.

Playoffs involve the top five teams from each of the four nights. A lot like Final Four pairings. A #1 from one night will play a #5 from another.

Don’s Place gets a bye in the first round. Their first match will be at 3.

I will be there. A bit late since I have to work with Sloan first. Big news soon! I am expanding my horizons show wise.

My lesbian wives were to have dinner with me last night. To celebrate their eighth anniversary. Terri was not handling thursday’s chemo well. Donna called with regrets.

Whether the diet, I am not sure. I had a desire for spaghetti with oil and garlic. A true Italian at heart!

La Trattoria Oceanside the place. No room at the inn. I wanted a bar seat. Four people standing waiting for one.

Headed over to Roostica. Expected a similar crowd. Not that bad. Read my newspapers and enjoyed wings lemoncello. Try them sometime. Meaty wings grilled with a healthy supply of oil. Tender and delicious!

While at the Karen Chase lecture re FDR thursday night, mention was made of restoration to the Custom House. Surprised me.

I already had purchased a home in Key West. A $9 million restoration had been ongoing for several years. It was completed in 1999.

I was very familiar with the restoration. Lisa was living in Key West. Her first job here was as Development Director of the Custom House. Fancy title for fund raiser. She was the Custom House’s first ever.

Lisa was one of those spearheading the drive. Contributions sought at her end were big dollars. She did a great job.

I recall when the restoration was complete, a victory dinner was held in the huge second floor room at the Custom House. Black tie. Lisa the chair. I was unusually proud of her that night. She looked beautiful. Handled the room with confidence.

One thing sticks out clearly in my mind. In the middle of dinner, a lady attending and seated in the middle of the room stood. Without any introductory words, she began singing God Bless America. The entire room joined in.

It was that kind of evening.

I said earlier I was surprised with a new restoration. The Custom House looks today as good as in 1999 when the restoration was completed. Turns out this new restoration in not quite a restoration. It is a preservation. Updating many of the things that are behind the wall and do not show.

The monday after Thanksgiving at 6, architect Bert Bender will speak as part of the Distinguished Speakers Series. Bender was the architect during the 1990s restoration. He is the architect designated for the preservation one.

Syracuse will be destroyed this afternoon. Play Florida State. Florida State ranked #17 nationally and a 21 point favorite.

Please Lord, let this season end!

Syracuse basketball another story. Syracuse 3-0 so far against non entities. The first game against a major opponent next week when Syracuse plays South Carolina State.

Installment 17 of my rendition of the Key West Rotary history evidences a touch of chauvinism.

The years 1935 and 1936.

Suddenly, weekly meetings were being held at members’ homes. I could not figure out why. Perhaps, board meetings.

The Ladies Guild was doing preparation and service of lunch. This is where the chauvinism comes into play.

A August 20, 1935 meeting was held at the home of Melon E. Russell.

Treasurer Bill Bates had “a bone to pick with the Ladies Guild.” Without notice or permission, they had raised the price per luncheon from fifty cents to sixty cents.

What audacity!

The board’s position was…..How dare they! The board was upset. There would be no price increase until authorized by the board and they were not prepared to do so at that time.

We skip five months ahead to the January 20, 1936  meeting. At Steve Douglas’ home.

The ten cent increase neither resolved nor approved. The Ladies Guild claimed they were losing money. It had to do with the guarantee. The club had guaranteed 25 lunches. The ladies wanted the number increased to 30.

The board left the decision to Treasurer Bill Bates. The meeting minutes reflect his responsibility: “Bill will take care of it in his usual adroit manner.”

The members fearless. The Ladies Guild was composed primarily of their wives. A lot of disagreement and I assume locked bedroom doors during those months.

Last week’s installment reported at length the life of Rotarian and Key West resident Edward Strunk Jr. His name pops up in the minutes of the December 16, 1935 meeting.

The meeting was held at the new home of “Eddie Strunk.” Located at 924 Flagler Avenue.

The night was cool. Those in attendance appreciated that Strunk had a fire burning in the grate. They considered it “thoughtful.”

Enjoy your day!

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