It’s hard to believe it’s already November! I’m anxiously waiting for the leaves to change and to en-joy the cool, crisp air of fall. (Oops … we’re in Florida now, aren’t we?) We survived the Jewish High Holidays, including the Yom Kippur fast (L’Shana Tova to all those who celebrate), and Halloween; not many trick-or-treaters, but we still bought (and ate) plenty of candy. Before we lose the pounds we put on from eating those treats, it’ll be time to overeat at Thanksgiving. Football, basketball and hockey seasons are in full swing. What a glorious time of the year!
Our Bermuda Isle snowbirds and summer vacationers have returned (welcome back!), and have been pleasantly surprised by all the changes that have been made, especially at the entrance to the neighborhood. New lights, new signs, new landscaping, new entry system … a refreshed look in every way. Neighborhood activities are getting back in full swing, with our Ladies’ Lunch Bunch about to start up again, and the monthly men’s dinner (no fancy name for the guys’ night out) has been going strong all through the summer and fall. Lots of new social events are in the planning stages for the upcoming season, too.
Every season brings changes to Bermuda Isle, some happy, some sad. On a happy note, we welcome our newest neighbors, James Culver and Janet Montalvo-Henderson; their 110-pound Malamute adds to the menagerie on the “Shoe.” Lenore and Harvey Schwartz have decided that they love life in Bermuda Isle too much to continue to be snowbirds, and they’ll be giving up their house up north to be with us full time; they are also looking forward, with great excitement, to the marriage of their first granddaughter in early November. On a much more somber note, we join our neighbor Estelle Halperin in grieving for the unexpected loss of her son, Bruce.
Bermuda Islers are a peripatetic bunch, and the last month or two has been no exception. Art and Sheryl Feuerstein made so many trips that it’s hard to remember all the places they’ve been; New Orleans, Connecticut, Portland … and who knows where else? Jake and Diane Kamp and Leon and Juliane Haimes spent long stretches up north. Marshall and Kelty Williams had a busy month. They spent a beautiful weekend in Naples last month, and pass along their highest recommendation for the “Inn on 5th” as the place to stay; they also had a surprise four-day vis-it from their 6-year-old grandson, Kaeden, and his mom. Ron and Susan Tabin took to the road in an RV, and covered a large swath of the country, including Mt. Rushmore, Chicago, and Colorado, to sightsee and visit family. My wife, Ronnie, and our daughter, Jessica, met in Denver for an extended Labor Day girls’ weekend, while I flew up to Wisconsin to drive back here with our son, David, who finished up a several-year stint at Marquette in Milwaukee, where he finished up a JD-MBA program.
On the drive with my son, we meandered through eight states in the midwest and south, catching base-ball games in Milwaukee, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, visiting the Rock ‘n’ Roll and Pro Football Halls of Fame, and spending some time at the flight museum at Warner-Robins Air Force Base where in the country to indulge my penchant for the odd. In fact, there’s something for everyone! For lovers of the fine and performing arts among you, you won’t want to miss: Barney Smith’s Toilet Seat Art Museum in Alamo Heights, TX (hey, guys, at least we’d get to see the art sometimes); and the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame in Cleveland (who knew there was something called Cleveland-style polka?). For foodies, there’s: the Idaho Potato Museum in Blackfoot; the International Banana Museum in Mecca, CA; the Spam Museum (yes, Spam in a can) in Austin, MN, the home of Hormel; the Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum in Gatlinburg, TN (something else to do on our next trip to Gatlinburg); and the Beer Can Museum in East Taunton, MA. Then there are the places that are sort of food-related: the Trash Museum in Hartford, CT (how many of you folks from Connecticut have ever been there?); the Cockroach Hall of Fame in Plano, TX (seems like it should be next to the Trash Museum, doesn’t it?); and the Moist Towelette Museum in Dimondale, MI (another one that would have been nice to have next to the Trash Museum). For sports fans, there’s: the Stickball Hall of Fame in NYC; the National Distance Running Hall of Fame in Utica, NY; the Roller Derby Hall of Fame in my hometown of Brooklyn, NY; and its more genteel cousin” the National Museum of Roller Skating, in Lincoln, NE. If you’re looking to relive your youth, there are plenty of opportunities for that, too: the Museum of Pez Memorabilia in Burlingame, CA; the Spinning Top and Yoyo Museum in Burlington, WI (what … spinning tops, but no dreidels?); and the National Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester, NY. Manly men aren’t left out: The Bordello Museum in Wallace, ID (that’s one that I thought would be in Nevada); and the Burlesque Hall of Fame in Las Vegas (aah, my faith in Vegas has been restored); the Hammer Museum in Haines, Alaska (yes, it’s devoted to the tool, and not to be confused with the Armand Hammer Art Museum in Los Angeles); and, of course, the International Tow-ing and Recovery Museum in Chattanooga, TN. Finally, for those of you who have retired, but haven’t quite gotten your profession out of your blood, may-be the Insurance Hall of Fame, on the campus of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, the California Social Work Hall of Distinction on the USC campus in Los Angeles, or the National Museum of Funeral History in Houston, TX will satisfy your needs. So many must-see places, so little time! I guess I’ll get on to Google Maps and start planning my road trip. Or maybe I should check with my wife first and see if she’ll go with me; these are experiences that have to be shared with someone you love, don’t you think?
Happy Thanksgiving to our friends and neighbors in Aberdeen from all of us on The ‘Shoe’!
(Editor’s Note: While lengthy, I left Eliot’s travelogue intact since it provides such a thorough, interesting itinerary for all the ardent U.S. travelers out there!?