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"The Best Places"

We’ve been stuck in a lot of dumps, 
but we don’t want to talk about those today. 
Over morning coffee (noon), 
I asked Misty this: 
“All in all, what do you think were the best places we’ve stayed, 
like apartments, houses, motels, and so on?” 
She said “That’s easy” and named three. 

The Sea Palms at Saint Simon’s Island 
provided the best accommodations, 
and one of our weirdest gigs of our career, so far. 
St. Simon’s sits in the blue Atlantic Ocean, 
off the coast of Brunswick Georgia. 

The job came with a luxury apartment, 
overlooking a small river. 
Tropical flowers, trees and shrubs were trimmed neatly, 
and the riverside grass was like a putting green. 

Misty liked to sit in the grass and watch the ducks. 
One particular duck liked to sit with her. 
It moseyed up to her one afternoon, 
quacked a few pleasantries, 
sat by her, tucked in its feet, puffed up a little, 
and remained there as long as Misty would stay. 

The job was for just us as a duet, 
Misty doesn’t like the word “duo”. 
“It sounds so small and local.” 

We had all our keyboards, and sounded like a big band, 
with nothing prerecorded, of course. 
Nobody knew who owned the place, 
and so the rumor got started that Misty and I did. 
The lounge manager asked me if it was true, 
and I said “Shhh, I can’t talk about it.” 

So we became royal hosts of a month-long wild party, 
and got paid for it. 

Another place that is on the top of our list 
was Key Colony Beach. 
The place was called a “boatel”, 
like a motel for boats, 
and was situated in the between Key Largo and Marathon, Florida. 

The apartments were built on pilings, like a long pier. 
Ours was the last apartment, way out in the ocean. 
Porpoises played outside our big windows, 
and when the tourist fishing boats would come in at sunset, 
hoards of seagulls and pelicans would gather noisily, 
for the leftover fish that was tossed overboard. 

In the restaurant/lounge, 
we had our five piece band. 
At the entrance there was a huge decorative champagne glass 
that bubbled as long as it was plugged in. 
Nobody in our band drank, 
so when customers would buy us cocktails, 
we’d dump them in the fake champagne glass. 

We thought it continually brought in new bubbly water, 
but it didn’t. 
Soon there were swirling orange peels, olives, and other garbage, 
and the imitation champagne was taking on a peculiar color. 
When we realized our mistake, 
we tried to look innocent. 
The owner was a nice guy and never brought it up. 

Our drummer made friends with the chef, 
and smuggled out a couple of live lobsters to take to his apartment. 
They were tied up and handcuffed, 
or whatever they do to lobsters, 
so, in a hurry, Roy stashed them on the bumper of his car, 
which was parked in a dark place. 

They either escaped or were stolen, 
and Roy cursed the lousy crooks 
who would stoop so low as to steal his stolen lobsters. 

The Steinway grand piano was upside down, 
the way Hurricane Donna had left it. 
When a bunch of guys turned it right side up for Misty, 
it played beautifully. 

One summer night we checked into a lodge 
on top of a high mountain at Lake Arrowhead, California. 
We got up the next morning. 
pulled the cord on the drapes that covered a whole wall, 
and they opened onto a wall-sized picture window. 
Outside, the mountain forest was covered in two feet of new snow, 
without a sign of life, 
except for some rabbit tracks by our window. 
The most beautiful real-life Christmas card we’ve ever seen… 
in California…in June. 

I may have told you all this before, 
but I wanted to hear it again. 

Copyright © October 22, 2005 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved.

 

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