Our stay at Bucks Hall ended with a Chardonnay and garlic-butter linguine employing the remnants of our clam and shrimp stash. This proved to be another superb fresh seafood dinner dimmed only by the quiet hum of biting gnats hovering outside our door and windows. While no-see-ums are nigh unto invisible, let them gather into critical mass and they become as obvious as that thundercloud that dogged Joe Btfsplk of Li’l Abner fame.
Those bugs waited oh so patiently for me to emerge from our air conditioned cocoon to walk Pinky. I must have been an odd sight on those 85 degree dusks in sweatpants, long sleeved tee-shirt, and LSU cap. And nobody could see the insect repellent covering my exposed hide plus some on Pink’s belly. If the no-see-ums get any worse, we may have to change our plans and go to Shenandoah.
Our next stop on the 2015 Old Friends and Family Tour was our last until Christmas (invitation pending). Kat made plans to meet up with Texas buds Clark and Deborah (with whom we shared many a bottle and fine meal whilst I toiled for Quaker State and Kat slaved for BFI). Kat put together Paulette’s Wonderful Meat Pie from Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen and re-created The Bon Ton Café’s famous Bread Pudding. I found a bag of Caesar Salad to do my part.
It turned out that Clark and Deb reside in Hilton Head Sun City, a huge development populated by the retired, and the long since retired. Del Webb built this and many similar new home subdivisions marketed to seniors all over the warm states. Many were named Sun City; those that weren’t usually go by “Del Webb at Some-Such”. Del (1899 – 1975) went to his reward long ago, but as Mitt pointed out, “Corporations are people, my friend.” (I really wish someone had shot back: “So why don’t they ever do time for their criminal acts?”) Del’s land development corporation has outlived him by 40 years now. I had forgotten that Webb was an owner of the NY Yankees before CBS and before George Steinbrenner. Del was quite the businessman.
Our pal Clark invited his early 80’s (self-described) neighbors Bill and Claire to dine with us. I was taken with Claire: she has a wicked sense of humor, a 50-amp joie de vivre with pennies stuffed in the fuse box, and some serious wiccan bona fides. Claire grew up in Boston descended from a family with roots in New England witchcraft. She has personally cast effective spells. (While at a ballgame, some jackass a few rows ahead annoyed her to no end. Claire threw a hex to make him leave with a severe bellyache; minutes later the guy in the seat next to him got sick and left. “Damn, I better calibrate my sights!”) Those four locals, while recruiting us to move there, offered insights into life in a new subdivision where no one is under 55. It seems they play a lot of golf, a little tennis, no shuffleboard, and plenty of pickleball — doubles only. The group implied that the only negatives to Sun City are its merely average health care, lots of friends with health problems, and too many funerals. Claire put it this way, with her sly smile: “We like to say we live in God’s Waiting Room.”