GO WEST, YOUNG MAN

“Go west, young man” is attributed to New York Tribune publisher Horace Greeley. He used the verbiage in an editorial in 1865.

Actually, Greeley lifted the phrase from something a John Babasone Lane Soule wrote in 1851.

Neither actually wrote the phrase as presented here. Each had a slight variation.

History behind us, I want you to know this old man went west. I am in Birmingham, Alabama. At the home of Jean  and Joe Thornton. Jean the famous Key West Golden Girl.

Both were kind enough to invite me. Worked perfectly. The hotel had no room for me. I could not get a room anywhere else. The cone began to run over Atlanta.

Birmingham is 2 1/2 hours directly west of Atlanta.

Traffic normal Atlanta to Birmingham. Gassed up mid way. Some pumps are empty. Not because of everyone wanting to tank up. I suspect the gasoline is being shipped to parts of Florida badly needing it.

Alabama a beautiful State. Reminds me of upstate New York. Heavy green foliage. Trees. Big. Type of tree different. What I saw today were 30-50 foot high ones not with leaves. Looked like huge Xmas trees with the branch needles stretching upward.

The Marriott Marquis in downtown Atlanta was some hotel. Huge with all kind of niceties.

I have been in Key West too long without getting off the rock. Maybe 8-10 years. People dress differently on the mainland. Long pants and jackets for men. I have no long pants or jackets that fit any longer. My only shoes are a worn out pair of crocs. Big toe peeking out on each side.

I talk with everyone in Key West. I felt awkward in Atlanta. The big city overwhelmed me for a while. Overcame it soon.

No question, I have become a Key Wester through and through.

A receptionist at the Marriott by the name of Ella busted her ass trying to get me a room. She did get me an extra day which I passed on. I feared I would run into the Miami escapees if I waited a day longer to leave for Birmingham.

A big hotel well run. Makes our Marriott in Key West look tiny. And we have the largest dining room in Key West! Atlanta’s could not match Key West in restaurant size.

Marriott’s manager is a Sean John. Left him an e-mail complimenting Ella and sharing my thought of what a well operated facility he ran.

Cheap, too. $137, without tax. I use a Marriott credit card. Got me an upgrade to a semi-suite that was huge. The Concierge Room was outstanding. Breakfast, hors d’oerves, and drinks.

I was on the 39th floor. Could not help thinking what would I do if there were a fire. Reminded me of that movie way back with Paul Newman and William Holden. A high rise on fire and a big party on the roof.

I never left the hotel yesterday. Never got to buy long pants and shoes. Did not visit the Carter Presidential Library and Museum. The driving the day before caught up with me. After lunch, fell into bed and slept 3 hours.

Kind of the Thorntons to take me in. And the many to follow tonight and tomorrow. Jean has been cooking ahead in preparation. Meat loaf tonight because it is comforting. Tomorrow, lasagna for dinner. Alabama football in the afternoon.

Joe drinks socially and smokes. I have a friend! Outside on their back porch. No smoking in Jean’s house!

Received a telephoned call from Marty Leshaw last night. He was sitting on a boat in Santa Clara, California enjoying a drink.

Marty and I were bosom buddies several years ago. Every night out on the town. Would meet first at the Chart Room. Moved on from there.

Marty semi-retired. He has a beautiful home on the intercoastal in Fort Lauderdale. Plus, a fun house on tall stilts which sits in the ocean somewhere. Marty figures Irma will take them both down.

Marty thought it was time to leave. His wife disagreed. Marty left. She stayed. She did not want to leave her son and family. The son’s home several blocks inland and she thought it would be safe.

Marty disagreed. It came down to …..I’m going…..you do what you want. She did. She stayed. Hope she and the family get through this well.

This is blog #2 today. I did a short one as I hurried this morning to get on the road.

Enjoy your day!

 

3 comments on “GO WEST, YOUNG MAN

  1. Irma is about 4 times bigger than Andrew and appears to be headed up the west coast. I doubt people there will have much left to go home to.

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