Has it really been seven years already? This photo was taken on this date in 2010 at Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille, Florida writer Randy Wayne White’s restaurant on Sanibel Island, Florida. I had retired from the US Department of Justice just three weeks earlier after a 32 year career in Washington, and SallyAnn and I were in the midst of an extended road trip around Florida so that I might clear my head and decide just what it was I wanted to do with the rest of my life.
We decided it would be nice to inter alia wander the sea shell beset beaches of Florida’s Gulf Coast with no set agenda or time table. Where would each new day take us? One day we happened to end up at Doc Ford’s after a windy day wandering the sands of Sanibel Island and neighboring Captiva. I treated myself to some very fresh Gulf of Mexico oysters served chilled with lemon and cocktail sauce along with a pile of steamed Yucatan shrimp dressed in butter, garlic, Colombian chilies, fresh cilantro, and Key lime juice. A memorable repast to be sure. By the time this photo was taken I was washing it all down with another cold beer trying to decide where to go and what to do next. There would be plenty of time for long range planning and soul searching. I still had places to go and things to see.
While I was scribbling into my pocket notebook the gal behind the bar asked me if I was related to Hemingway. This was not the first time this comparison had been made, and when it is offered I have mixed feelings. I certainly respect the writing, if not the man (he was quite a prick from all reports). My only reply to her was from Hemingway himself. "An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools." I left her to sort out the meaning of this . . . and I was off to the Everglades.
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