HOME ON THE RANGE!

Well, I’m not really on the range, which would be a foolish place to sit, but I am back in Austin, Texas, where the temperature is about 35 degrees, with rain and snow predicted for tomorrow.  Yikes!  When I woke up this morning (in Fort Lauderdale) it was sunny and 85 degrees!  What the hell happened?  Why did Horace Greeley encourage me to go west?  Why did I listen to Horace in the first place?  (The guy died in 1872!)  Well, in any case, I’m back in the Lone Star State and happy to be home.  (Sort of)

If you’re wondering why you haven’t heard from me in a couple of days, it’s because we experienced a solar bombardment while at sea and our ship lost all internet access.  (Even the Playboy sites were down!)  My God, what is this world coming to?  Since I am apt to roll with the punches (or the waves) I made the best of it and wrote 5 chapters of my new mystery novel, titled, RANSOM ON THE RHONE.  Between chapters, I almost became a poker legend, but that’s another story.  (Involving my wife, who ended up with four eights in a monster poker hand!)  Needless to say, I ended up with egg on my face.  (A sorry state for any Cobra!)

A word about St. Martin…..  lovely place, mainly French, and filled with wonderful bistros and restaurants.  We had a great day at Orient Beach, which thank God, has a section for nude bathers.  (Not me, mind you.)  I was busy taking photographs, I mean, snorkeling.  My lens kept getting foggy.  (Not the camera lens, the snorkel mask.)  I don’t speak French, but I think I was asked to leave the beach several times.  What the heck is a gendarme?

St. Martin is French, but St. Marteen (the other side of the island) is Dutch.  Believe me, it was no “Dutch treat.”  Very third worldish, and they all drink Heineken beer for breakfast!  They were also a little snobby.  (They only spoke to folks traveling aboard Holland America ships.)  What’s up with that?  Have you noticed that most Dutch chicks have two lips?  (tulips)  All right, enough island humor.

If you find yourself in St. Martin, stroll into the main book store in Marigot (the capital) and you will see two of my mystery novels prominently displayed up front.  (THE GRACELAND GANG and THE PIRATE PATH)  I donated some copies to the store on the condition that the proceeds would go to charity.  The manager was quite gracious, especially after I told him that I used to write under the pen name of Stephen King.  (Hey, the money is going to charity.)

All things considered, we had a wonderful trip, made lots of new friends, sold some books, contributed to the local island economies, and played some ferocious poker.  If you throw in the two bottles of coconut rum that we consumed, I’d say it was another incredible outing.  Still, it’s great to be home, and great to be back with our family and friends.  I believe it was St. Augustine who said that not traveling is like reading one chapter of a book, and I pretty much agree with that.  However, there is no place like home, and no place like our beloved U.S.A.

I will write again soon…. after I pay some bills!  Love to all…..

Doc Yanoff, The Pirate King of the Southern Caribbean.

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