I have no idea why Horace Greeley advised young men to go west, when he knew that Barbados was the easternmost of the Caribbean islands. Poor guy must have been a tad confused, because Barbados is lovely, and encircled by spectacular sandy beaches. We dropped anchor in Bridgetown a few months ago, and spent the most of the day at a lovely resort, drinking rum, nibbling on lobster, and swimming in crystal clear water. If you visit this island, which is often called “Little England,” you will find a lot to do and much to admire.
After four hours of “beach blanket bingo,” we attended two rather unusual functions….. first, we went to a cricket match, which was somewhat disappointing. There were no crickets, just some ants, and none of them had any matches. (I understand the fireflies were on strike that day.) Then, after we watched some guys whacking a ball with a paddle (which reminded me of school) we walked across the street and took a tour of the Mount Gay Rum Factory. I think we enjoyed the tour (and the free samples of rum) but I don’t remember how long we were there or how we got back to the ship.
If relaxing on a tropical beach and turquoise waters are not your thing, you can rent a vehicle and tour the island, which is also quite enjoyable. I would recommend a visit to Bathsheba Rock Beach or Harrisons Cave, as both are quite unique and mostly void of tourists. Of course, there is also some decent shopping, mostly on Broad Street in Bridgetown. “Bajans,” as islanders are known, are very friendly and will usually offer a sincere welcome. (Insider Tip: Don’t forget to purchase some hot sauce, which is truly divine, and is sold in varying degrees of heat.)
On the home front…. My illustrious part-time booking agent, Loyd Smith, has arranged for me to make a special return engagement at the Lakeway Men’s Club. I will be speaking (about my new mystery novel, CAPONE ISLAND) at the Lakeway Center on July 24th, and we are expecting a standing-room only crowd. (They have no chairs!)
Last weekend was my (39th) birthday, and my dear family treated me to a gala surprise party… (I was surprised they invited me!) What a great evening! I got to check off one of my “bucket list” items… an authentic Hawaiian pig roast! (Complete with ukulele player and a hula dancer!) The little piggy weighed about 35 pounds and was simply delicious. (Accompanied by rice, beans, and jalapeño macaroni and cheese casserole!)
My darling wife and daughters did a marvelous job and spared no expense, and the weather was gorgeous, too. Our memorable evening was enhanced by the presence of my dear brother, Glenn, and his beautiful wife, Grace, who flew in from Florida to attend the gala event. Our closest friends were also present, and I think I can safely say that we all had a wonderful time. (I don’t know how Patty and the girls will ever top this night, but I sure hope they try!) Hopefully, I will be including some photos at the end of this blog post…
On the publishing front, some more good news…. CAPONE ISLAND is selling like hot cakes, and my publisher has informed me that we are on track to set some sort of sales record. Even if we don’t, I’d like to personally thank each and every one of my faithful fans for continuing to support me. This writing gig is a lot of fun, and the best part is meeting and getting new readers, and keeping in touch with all of my old friends. (So keep those cards and letters coming!)
I don’t want to brag, but I hear that my hometown, Valley Stream, might name a street after me. (How does “Psycho Path” sound?) All right, not great, but it’s the thought that counts. To tell you the truth, I have never had a problem with my self-image. Do you know that I can still fit into some of the clothing that I wore in college? No kidding. I found two neckties and a scarf that still fit.
In closing, I would like to leave you with a public health warning! Are you aware that senior citizens have become the leading carriers of AIDS? (Hearing Aids, Band Aids, Rol-Aids, Medical Aids, etc.) Well, now you know, so tread lightly when you’re around old folks.
If you will take a moment and scroll down, you will (hopefully) find some enchanting pictures of my birthday party. I hope you enjoy them, and please remember that it is NEVER TOO LATE to send someone an expensive birthday present! God Bless, love to all,