Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Friday, 25 January 2008

Gasparilla Looms Large

Tampa, Florida

Mrs. Phred checked in today from Ravenna and Bologna. I'm looking forward to her return. She sends pictures every night.

Mike and Steve are two of the former students that have been closest over the years. Steve has tickets for me for the Gasparilla parade in the morning. Pirates invade Tampa this time every year. The whole town wakes up, starts drinking Saturday morning and arise with a Sunday headache after a day of beads, bacchanal and bare breasts. Meanwhile the pirates invade again...Argh, matey...

Sometimes the lady sheriff’s deputies get pissed off and pepper-spray unruly eight-year olds. That always gets the attention of the press.

I decide to make contact again today and attend the celebration...

I took Polaroid’s of my students in 1978 so that I would know them by the 2nd class meeting. I asked them to complete a 3x5 card. Both Mike and Steve helped us with our old home after Mrs. Phred read all the cards and noticed that they both were union carpenters from Philadelphia. They worked on our house, usually starting work about suppertime when the steaks were on the grill. THey helped with the wooden screens.

Mike came to see me in the 80's with a story about a large coffee can full of white powder in a shipping container from England. He is agitated and tells me about a customs agent was digging though the coffee can white powder with a knife. Mike sniffs the powder and thinks coke. I tell him to call customs and report a suspicious substance. After he does that, his boss is deported to England in handcuffs and Mike gets a no-money-down chance to buy the factory.

Steve has been attending Gasparilla at my house since 1978. Steve is a Vice-President for a major national restaurant chain. Not his first chain. Steve was a student busboy when we first met.

Gasparilla took place about a block from our old house. I always enjoyed painting window screens and talking with passersby rather than going down to the parade. Mrs. Phred is sending me pictures from Ravenna and Bologna in Italy. I questioned her today over DSL and found that the photographer was mostly her sister, Jil. The tomb picture in Ravenna is not Dante, But I will pretend that it is. He’s in there somewhere.

Gasparilla starts tomorrow. The thing about hanging around here in Sarasota is that the weather is great, but there’s not much happening worth a blog. I work every day as a Habitat for Humanity volunteer. I do minimum wage accounting work for my leader, Amy. As a volunteer, they omit the wages and give me coffee.

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