I hope that you have a wonderful birthday today, Irene. Thank you for being there for me through the years.
The Garland family left Palm Springs yesterday afternoon. It is not lonely here, but we do miss them. We understand they may have had the flight from hell, because of an emergency landing in Albany, New York and many hours of delay. We believe that door to door they were 12 hours instead of the anticipated 6 or 7 hours, and this with a 6 month old baby. Not a good way to end a week of vacation. We are relieved that they arrived safely. Carol can now return most of the baby equipment to the Toys R Us in the basement of the clubhouse.
We go back to the grind. Did you shop last week? No. Did you try to shop last week? No. Do you plan to shop next week? Yes. (This is loosely lifted from the dialog of Comicus and the Dole Office Clerk in the 1981 movie History of the World: Part I by Mel Brooks.)
Thursday night, the second last night for Kate, Jay and Billie in the desert. It was Palm Springs Street Festival night. First a visit with Linda and Bill Popovic our old friends from Vancouver, then all to LuLu's for a dinner of Eggplant Parmigiana; not everyone's favourite, but certainly mine. Dinner was followed by an evening at the Street Fair, and a visit with "Forever Marilyn" the 26 foot, 34,000 pound statue. Marilyn Monroe would be 87 years old. Very good night. Just one error, when Carol, Billie and I left Katie and Jason in Palm Springs to enjoy a little night life, I forgot to give them the pass card to Silver Sands. Carol and I knew we were in trouble as soon as we got home. Katie had not taken her phone. The resort gate closes at 11PM, and we knew they would not be home until much, much later. I ended up sleeping in my car at the front gate for an hour to let them through. Now that will not happen again. The wiser (read older) I get the more frequently these things seem to be happening to me.
Monday night Open Mike at Pappy & Harriets gets 1 thumb down. The ribs are good and the beer is cold, but the music is not that good. Pete Seeger died last night, and the collected musicians could not really remember the words and music of a single Pete Seeger song when they wanted to perform one as a tribute. The venue is terrific though, and for 1st time P&H visitors, the nooks and crannies of the bar are worth the visit.
Tonight, Katie, Jason and I are heading up into the high desert to Pappy & Harriets. It is in a little "no street light" town named Pioneertown. It is just a bar, with an outdoor barbecue, and men's and women's bathrooms that are just about outdoor too. Pappy & Harriets just happens to bring in pretty good live music. Big names play here frequently, but I suppose mainly small names. Tonight is just open mike. We might see someone famous that is out slumming, but we are more likely to see someone just trying. Jay is convinced that Katie will sing. Katie is convinced that she will not. Everybody is napping this afternoon so that we have some options this evening. Carol drew the short straw, and loved it.
Billie brought her parents to Palm Desert on Saturday. She took pretty good care of Kate and Jason all through the flight, not sleeping at all, and keeping her eye on them to make certain that they were not disruptive and bothering the other passengers. Billie received a heart-felt thank you from the crew when disembarking. She has scheduled a photo opportunity with me for a little later today. She brought her Jolly Jumper.
Just driving around Palm Springs and Palm Desert, you are constantly reminded that these cities comprised the past playgrounds, summer residences and weekend getaways of many famous people. Streets are named Bob Hope Drive, Diana Shore Drive, Frank Sinatra Drive. There are spots where you can stop, press a button and have Frank Sinatra tell you the history of the park. You can tour Bob Hope's home. You can tour the home where Elvis and Priscilla spent their honeymoon.
Our community in Palm Desert is Silver Sands Racquet Club. There are stories of the people who lived just down the street. Rod Laver owned a house in Silver Sands. Connie Stevens lived here some of the time. Last night we heard of Al Lerner, a resident who passed away on January 19th, 2014. He would entertain the neighbourhood by hosting an evening of his piano playing at the clubhouse. Mr. Lerner had been a member of the Harry James Band and had been the last surviving member. His last performance at Silver Sands was about two years ago at the age of 92. Carol and I missed it. Great opportunity gone.
The social Fred (that only comes out when the moon is full) helped organize a mens only tennis and food event at the clubhouse last night. For those of you who do not know what a Brat is, it is a very large (biggie) sausage. Turnout of about 20. Good fun. Lots of known carcinogen.
We had not actually felt any hot water from the taps in this house since we got here. The kitchen sink took 75 seconds for even warm water to show up. Splashing cold water on our faces was the norm in the farthest bathroom. All of that has changed. We have installed a hot water recirculation pump. I did it myself. There is hot water on demand at every tap. These are wonderful devices that everybody down here knows about. Carol has pointed out that the hot and cold water seem to be reversed in the kitchen and that she wants it fixed today - picky, picky picky. My guess is that she will not end 44 years of marriage on this point.
In 1995 Patricia Hy-Boulais made it to the quarter finals of the US Open. Until yesterday no Canadian had reached a quarter final of a Grand Slam since that event. Yesterday 19 year old Eugenie Bouchard made it to the quarter finals of the Australian Open.
Here is a picture of Eugenie with two of the games greatest players. She tweeted this a few days ago with the caption "30 Grand Slams between the 3 of us". That would be 17 Grand Slams for Rodger Federer, and 13 for Rafael Nadal. Brad Gilbert has picked Eugenie as a dark horse to win the tournament "down under".
Carol has raided the clubhouse for all of the baby paraphernalia that she can find. The car seat is a loner that we brought from Ontario. The new crib is not in the picture. The house is full of baby stuff.
I have become a big fan of Beth Hart in the past few days. Not certain how I stumbled into her, but there she was doing a tribute to Buddy Guy at the Kennedy Centre. I love the little puff of relief that she gives at the end of the song - "I made it". There are several other videos of her on YouTube, many before she became quite so refined. Great voice. Put your earphones on for this one.
Here is another when she is a little less glammed up.