Woody Cornell will be 80 years old tomorrow.

He is in for a two day celebration. It starts this morning. At this moment in fact as I am publishing this blog.

Woody was unaware of the planned celebration. He is becoming aware at this moment.

Woody and friends do yoga every morning at six. At Higg’s Beach in the area of the African Memorial cemetery. Following the completion of yoga, they welcome the sunrise.

Some of Woody’s non yoga friends will be there with champagne to kick off two days of partying.

Happy birthday, Woody!

I first met Woody about 15 years ago. Here in Key West. Woody and his wife Joan were kind enough to introduce us to some of their friends. Their daughter Greer became best friends with my daughter Lisa.

Woody and Joan met during World War II. Joan is English. Woody was stationed in England. They married. Joan came to her new husband and new country a war bride.

Guest houses, hotels and restaurants were their way of life for many years. Now the two are settled in a lovely home in the heart of Key West. Woody is handy. Jack of all trades type. Did most of the work in their Key West home. An absolute beauty!

Woody dances to his own tune. Always has. A bit of beatnik, a bit of hippy. For many years he wore two earrings. Swords. The semi circular Arab type. One and a half to two inches in length. Wood shoes, also. Shades of Holland. Short cropped punk style hair.

Woody once told me the story of a trip he made to either France or England.  He went to one country. Wanted to go to the other. To visit his brother. At the new country, customs stopped him. He was subjected to a strip search. He could not understand why. He was a walking invitation to a strip search.

Woody and Joan worked hard for 20 plus years in Vermont. It was a restaurant business. Or a restaurant/hotel business. Woody told me that if they had not made Greer before they got into the business, she never would have been born. That is how hard they worked! There was no time for playy.

I attended my first Key West Symphony. I was accustomed to dressing for the symphony. I wore long pants and a blazer. Woody came rushing over to ask what was I doing. I did not understand. He was visibly concerned/aggitated. He pointed to my jacket.

I never wore a blazer to the symphony again.

I see both Woody and Joan rarely these days. Ran into Woody about 3 months ago in Walgreen’s. Joan a couple of weeks ago while I was getting a pedicure. This has to change. We have to go out. I will be sure it happens. And soon!

How did I become aware of Woody’s champagne party this morning at Higg’s Beach? JJ, my bartender friend at the Chart Room. JJ was telling me last night while I was at the Chart Room that he had a friend who was going to be 80, did yoga at six at Higg’s Beach and then welcomed the rising sun.. Some of his friends were going to surprise this individual with a surprise champagne party at that time.

As he described the guest of honor, it hit me he was talking about Woody!

They say that today’s 80 is 60! A correct observation in Woody’s case. He looks terrific for his age!

Enjoy the next two days, my friend!

And the rest of you, enjoy today!

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