Boca raton and boynton beach

Boca raton and boynton beach

We are still living in Durham … it is the back half of 1990 … my retirement has been official for a few months. There are a few family trips to Florida which we make and use the opportunity to peek around a bit trying to decide where to buy. Florence is anxious to make the move but I insist that we first sell our home before we commit to a purchase. It was sometime in November or December that I agree to spend a day with a Realtor friend of Ellen’s in Florida … to do some house hunting. Way up front and prior to the meeting with the agent I let it be known that we may be wasting her time … I will not buy a new home before I have a contract to sell my present house … yes siree … I am no fool.

We choose the Boca Raton area and the sales agent starts off by visiting a few homes in various locations. She already knows our interests and that my prime pastimes are racquetball and fishing. We take lunch at the Boca Pointe Country Club, after which we tour the Athletics Center which happens to have six racquetball courts. Finally she shows us a “spec” home built by the builder on a lake and with a full size swimming pool … and supposedly at a bargain price.

I didn’t realize it then but at that particular moment I was a fish admiring bait and about to be hooked. Towards the end of the walk-through Florence was inside admiring the rooms, closets, etc., while I was outside soaking in the sights. I am thinking that I have to be out of my mind to pass on this opportunity … a large house on a lake, racquetball, fishing … it has everything we would ever need. So I sign an intent to buy, proposing a modestly lower price than what is listed and detail several items to be added by the builder. So much for taking a firm stand!

So we have picked our retirement home in Boca Raton Florida. Why Boca Raton you ask? Simple … it was about a 30 – 40 minute drive to Ellen and Alan’s house … close enough to make convenient visits … but far enough to avoid baby sitting chores. As it turns out this was an unnecessary concern. 

Early January 1991 we were in Las Vegas checking into to a hotel about to visit the annual Consumer Electronic Show and we receive a fax advising us that our purchase proposal had been accepted. By April or May the house was ours and of course our Durham home was still on the market. It took about 2 years before a sale was consummated and in the interim we did a 1 year rental.

Ellen was the very first visitor we had. She was over very early on helping mom with various chores related to choosing paint colors, tiles, etc. Once again we immediately furnish the house with Aarons Rent just so we have a place to eat and sleep. Our first ‘sleep-over’ company is Larry, Vero and their baby son Ansel … I am not certain we had even finalized the move from Durham … but I do recall having to hang a bed sheet on the family room sliding doors for evening privacy. When we did make the official move we took only our master bedroom furniture and kitchen set with us … it actually took us almost a year to furnish the remaining rooms. This was the beginning of a glorious retirement period … which fortunately still continues.

One of our very first chores was to screen-in the back patio and pool area. We had a few shrubs in the area which were removed and screen walls were installed with a ceiling height almost 2 stories high. This was the focal point of our home and over the years we dined, swam, and celebrated the joys of family life. There were many … oh, so many … bottles of wine emptied out there.

It was August of 1992 when we were struck with Hurricane Andrew … a category 5 storm. It passed overhead about 2 AM and although I had reinforced all the windows I did have concerns about our newly constructed patio. I stood by our bedroom patio doors watching … rain drumming down on our skylight … winds howling away … and Florence fast asleep. Both my patio and spouse weathered the storm quite well.

The Boca Pointe area was huge … housing about 3000 units … fairly evenly divided between free standing homes and luxury apartments … and about 2500 of these held equity membership in the Boca Pointe Country Club. Florence made several card playing and Mah Jong friends real fast. I gravitated almost immediately to the racquetball courts but found that a small group played only on weekend mornings. I persevered during weekdays and finally lined up a group and began to play Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. In no time at all we had 3 or 4 courts filled each of these mornings, with several players waiting their turn.

In terms of quality of playing skills we had both “A” and “B” players and each played within their skill level group. It was basically a very congenial group at first … everybody getting along fine … and occasionally a “B” player might test out his skills with the “A” players. Towards the end of my stay at the club it did become a bit sectarian … the less skilled participants were not welcomed by some on the cherished “A” courts. My schedule called for playing 5 or 6 games and I would then move to the outside hot tub, soak my aching bones and relax on a chaise lounge. Finally I go to the locker room where my routine called for the steam room, shave, steam room again, shower and back home. These were all great mornings … a super workout coupled with a competitive good time.

There were some very good players participating and our games were quite spirited. I recall Larry’s amazement the first time I took him to the courts … he had no idea that our games would be as strenuous and gung-ho as he witnessed. He participated several times as my partner in a doubles game … and of course we played many a singles game, just he and I. During the years Brian, Ansel, and Jori were also on these courts many times.

We made many club acquaintances and a few real close friends. Early on Florence met up with Roz Rosenblatt who very quickly became an intimate friend. Her husband Mike had very similar interests to mine … namely computer and opera, so all went well. Friday nights we joined up with Bert and Helen Sommerman for our weekly canasta game which followed dinner at the club. We also got into a weekly bridge game and met up with the Adler’s, Terry and Marvin. Marvin eventually joined me on my weekly fishing expeditions.

I had reserved Wednesday mornings for bass fishing. For several years I fished alone since I did not know anybody who might be interested in this pastime … and frankly I was quite comfortable with that arrangement. On occasion some friends did volunteer to join in. Marvin Adler was the only guy to stay with it … all the others never went a second time … frankly, never even asked to go again … Seymour Leifer was so impressed he went to the car and fell asleep as I fished away.

A Bait and Tackle store was conveniently located about 1/4 mile away and on the way to Lox Road which took us to a docking area. This was the beginning of the Everglades and bass and mudfishing were plentiful. If I left my house at 7 AM I was fishing with live bait by 7:30 AM … now that’s what I call convenience. I had a convertible car for many of these years and I can still feel the invigorating and carefree feeling of driving at daybreak with the top down and my fishing pole erect in the back seat area.

Both in Boca as well as Boynton Beach we were never short on family visitors. Ellen and Alan were nearby so we saw them frequently. Marlene, Larry and Vero came by at least once or twice a year from the outset. It is worthy to note that Ansel traveled from France by himself for a visit in 1996 and was only 7 years old at the time. He did a return trip the following year. We sent him off to a 2 week Tennis Camp nearby which we thought would be great for him … however we learned later on it was a complete flop from his perspective … but we did have a memorable time with him … especially when grandma dressed him up as a waiter for some masquerade at camp. 

In 1998 I was working from my 2nd computer when it became apparent that it was soon to go bye-bye. I decided to look into the feasibility of building my own as opposed to purchasing one ready built. I did some reading as well as attending a few local computer fairs where vendors were displaying the necessary parts required. Not much money was to be saved but I would have a custom designed computer to fit my needs. It appeared to be a viable project and I purchased the hardware. It took several days … not so much for assembling the pieces, but the software and BIOS settings were a difficult chore. It all worked out fine and I haven’t purchased a desktop computer since, rather when necessary I build my own … as recently as 2008 … at which time I was joined by Ansel who today is far more advanced in computer knowledge than I am.

Larry and his family lived in France during these retirement years (and still do) so the frequency of seeing them was limited. In addition to their visits to Florida there were many trips we made to them. I am certain that before this chapter is completed many memorable events will be recalled. It might be said that because of the distance between our homes, when we did get together we maximized our time … looking back this was not a planned effort to create memories but a natural turn of events resulting in good and warm times. It is absolutely amazing that we could enjoy doing a puzzle together or playing Uno as much as a trip to Disneyland.

It was during our 1994 visit to France when the group decided to go up to Paris for a weekend and meet Vero’s family. Her dad, Roland DuBuc, who was a renowned painter, was in town, and the plans were to meet and dine together with him, Vero’s mother, sister and niece. The evening dinner and family get-together was a huge success. 

Larry had been taking care of making a hotel reservation but ran into difficulties obtaining vacancy. Finally he succeeded and was quite proud. When I heard of the extraordinary low rates he obtained I admit I became suspicious … Paris was not known as a source of inexpensive hotel rooms. 

We took the train to Paris at some very early hour in the morning getting to the hotel in time to change clothes. I had insisted at having first class train seating which was a complete waste since for the most part the rest of the train was almost vacant. The hotel had a 1 star … perhaps 2 stars … rating. Our mattress was shaped like the inside of a small canoe. Additionally there was literally no room for 2 people to stand, much less get dressed inside the room. We had a single window which looked down upon a deserted alley filled with garbage. That evening Florence and I got little sleep and were downstairs seeking a cup of coffee quite early.

As we started our walking tour that morning we passed an attractive little hotel and I inquired about vacancy. Fortunately 2 rooms were available and after checking those out I agreed to the transfer. Larry indicated he was quite comfortable where he was, but after Vero said she was changing as well he acquiesced.

Another incident comes to mind. It was on the train to Paris and I was reading to Ansel from a French book. He was amazed at how well I spoke French and I explained it was easy … as long as I use my French eyeglasses. He bought that story that day, but not for very long.

During our Boca years we did find that great little French restaurant, Le Val de Loire where the owners and the help fell in love with little Ansel … finding a cute kid speaking French was a bonanza for them. Our steady waitress, Sophia took him into the kitchen more than once. Florence and I frequented this place many times on our own without our French Group. 

Jennifer, being the oldest grandchild, was starting off on her own independent life during this period and perhaps didn’t have the chance to enjoy all the perks that were available. However she did manage to catch her first fish in the lake behind our house … I can still hear her screams when she also hooked a turtle. Brian not only joined me on the racquetball courts but we managed to squeeze in many days of fishing … which, with hindsight, I must admit was probably not too enjoyable for him … but he was always a good sport and a super companion. Ansel shared these pastimes with me as well. Jori was only 5 or 6 and I had him playing racquetball with me, which he took to like a duck to water. I confess that all my grandchildren, as well as our oldest great grand daughter Kayla, were put through the fishing tasks over the years. I feel very fortunate that I was able to share my hobbies with my love ones.

So there I am … fishing and playing racquetball … this consuming 5 mornings a week … light years away from stickball on Eastburn Avenue. My time was fully occupied. When not doing the fun things I was busy with consulting activities. Qualex was an immediate client as part of my retirement package. I couldn’t have been retired for more than a few months when PMA, the photographic industry association, hired me as their technical and industry consultant. This relationship was most enjoyable and is still ongoing as I write (however at a greatly reduced pace). Aside from an assortment of special projects I wrote many articles for the PMA Magazine … perhaps in all, close to 75 pieces. Many of these assignments were quite challenging covering areas I had little knowledge of and forced me to stay current with new emerging technologies … a task I will admit I found most pleasant.

Additionally I began to consult on an annual basis for several other organizations as well as providing assistance for various litigations as an expert witness. There were a few photographic companies that had special problems and wanted me available for consultation services as needed … others organizations were contemplating entering the photographic arena and called on me for advice as well as providing industry contacts. The Hewlett Packard Corporation was an example of the latter and I worked with their product development and marketing groups for a period of 4 years and today they are firmly entrenched in consumer photography and a major exhibitor at the annual PMA show.

My retirement from active corporate life took place at the outset of a period when huge technological changes were about to take place within the imaging arena. To a large extent I do manage to keep abreast of the new evolving protocols and was able to help others cross over to this new era. While my consulting activity continues today, it has diminished considerably. This is primarily due to the fact the evolution is over … the transition to digital is virtually complete. I have had the opportunity to enjoy 17 years of intense and diverse consultation activities which took me all over the USA and Europe … as far away as Moscow. A better retirement schedule and way of life is unimaginable. 

It was sometime around 2000 that my shoulder got bad and racquetball was soon to become part of my past. Florence had some aches as well. We were soon to find out that she had Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoarthritis and other serious complications. We had outgrown our country club environment sooner than we had expected. We sold and moved into Coral Lakes in Boynton Beach just a few miles north of Boca Pointe. Terry and Jack Grauer were already established there and that helped us choose this as a new locale. October 2003 we moved in. 

This was a good move for us. We found a house about 2/3 the size of our Boca home and also on a lake. The amenities of a country club life are not missed … the Coral Lakes Club House is huge with considerable activity which includes special club interests as well as an assortment of shows and movies. I belong to the Fishing, Computer, and Camera clubs. 

Very early on Florence saw an announcement in the club bulletin for the monthly Canasta tournament and called the listed organizer. When she mentioned wanting to sign up for both of us the person asked, “Oh, your husband plays Canasta … what are you doing right now … want to come over and play a bit?” The invitation was accepted and we met Evelyn and Arnie Pollack. This was indeed a lucky event for us. Through them we met and made several new and delightful friends and Florence got into a few weekly games. Most important Evelyn and Arnie have become very close to us and our family. One of several priorities we share with this couple is a close bonding with family members. Their 3 children and 10 grandchildren all live within a half hour drive … and they see and speak with each other almost daily. 

The Pollacks also have a couple of lovely neighbors with whom we have forged close friendships.  Barbara Veiselman is a cheerful person with a fine sense of humor. Both Florence and I share many a laugh with her. Additionally Florence crosses paths with her during Mah Jong and card games.  Likewise for Mike and Sue Seidman … although snowbirds as of this writing, we consider them close friends.

We weren’t in Coral Lakes 1 week when Terry and Jack began to take us to various club activities and introduce us to all their friends. They went out of their way to make our new environment a cheerful and friendly place. Jack is an avid fisherman and we team up almost every Sunday morning. The wives join us for an early lunch in the club cafe. Coral Lakes has 15 Lakes on the grounds … each are stocked with Bass and Carp. The lake just behind our house is one of these with Bass waiting to be caught. It is not uncommon … on the spur of the moment … perhaps while waiting for dinner to be prepared … to grab my rod and reel from the patio … take 10 steps and begin to fish. It couldn’t be better if I planned it. 

It should be noted that while our lifestyles in Boca were primarily “fun and games” this changed somewhat in Boynton Beach. The problem was not with the Coral Lakes environment but merely time catching up with us. Florence and I developed health problems … hers much more incapacitating than mine. We now spend more time in doctor’s offices than playing cards and going to restaurants combined. While it is evident these days are no more than a staging area for another journey, the trick is to maximize what you have … and I believe we are succeeding with that assignment. 

So what are some other memorable events during this era? Jori was born on September 20, 1997. There were those 2 mornings when Ansel and Jori were officially converted to Judaism … going through a religious procedure and ending with a dunking in the ocean. Along these same lines we had the honor to attend both Brian’s and Ansel’s Bar Mitzvah … both conducting parts of the Sabbath traditional services. 

What about the birth of our first great grandchild, Kayla … then Italia and Tatiana … and at this writing one more on the way … thank you Jen. We are able to see Kayla periodically and she is growing up nicely … an amazingly warm and pleasant child. Tatiana is maturing well with Jen in Deland, about a 3-4 hour car drive upstate. This distance does not allow us to enjoy her as often as we would like … however our phone conversations indicate a bright young lady in the making.

There was that simple birthday get together in Boca … singing Happy Birthday to Ansel, and some other tunes as well … when Marlene decided to do a solo and stood on the kitchen chair. Surprisingly this Harvard graduate can carry a tune. Last but not least, there is an assortment of memorable evenings in Las Vegas with Ellen and Rob. They have introduced us to their friends as well as to the unusual lifestyle one can only enjoy by living in Las Vegas. Very recently Rob and I even managed to win big one evening at the crap tables … a rare event for me I admit.

I have already mentioned that wedding anniversaries are a big thing with us … and of course our 50th would be special. We celebrated ours cruising the Alaska – Canada coastline followed by a Trans Canadian Rocky Mountain tour and then onto France where we were entertained by Larry and Vero. As of this writing we have not yet finalized any plans for our 60th which is only 20 months away. 

Florence and I also did manage to squeeze in a tour of the state of California. I was visiting with Fred Lerner doing an article for the PMA magazine and decided to satisfy a long held desire to see that state. I have visited California probably 100 times but never had the opportunity to sight-see. After completing my assignment, we drove down to the San Diego area and worked our way up the coast. We decided to detour a bit to enable a visit to the wine country and we completed the journey in San Francisco. It was June 1995 and the O J Simpson trial was the big thing. While driving we constantly listened to the live broadcasts describing the current activities. Every so often we lost radio contact and were frustrated. Aside from that we spent a glorious 10 days covering about 1500 miles … but what a car rental bill.

I believe it was 1994 and we were visiting with Larry and Vero in France … and we decide to climb a local ravine wall … several hundreds of feet high … of course with the help of an occasional man-made walkway and railing. We even returned there several years later with Marlene. This was only one of many memorable highlights of our visits to France. This photo tells it all … as does this classic pix. A few years later we take a side trip to Italy and sight-see the remnants of a remote village abandoned some time ago… and end up in a local restaurant on the side of a huge mountain. We wanted a light snack and ended with a gourmet 2 1/2 hour lunch that never seemed to end.

In 2001 … August to be exact … Larry and his family are contemplating returning to the USA … we meet in NYC and spend several days together in Manhattan … staying at David Acker’s luxury duplex apartment. Besides doing some Manhattan and Statue of Liberty touring I remember vividly taking them to my old 1 square mile in the Bronx. I drove through our old neighborhood showing them where we once lived, our schools, my dad’s store etc. …and then continuing on to Spring Valley visiting old familiar sites. I stopped by our old house on Lark Lane … started to walk a bit on the side of the property and a window opens. The present owner wanted to know what I was doing. I explained I used to live here and all was ok … aside from the lump in my throat. Ansel was with us this day and old enough to remember. As far as their plan to return to the USA … the events of the following month … 9/11 … put this on the back burner … temporarily I am certain. 

It was October 2005 and there were warnings of a major hurricane heading our way. The schedule calls for Larry and his clan to arrive from France for a visit on the same day as forecasted for the storm … Marlene comes a few days earlier. I advise Larry not to change his plans … “We get these alerts all the time and nothing ever happens”, I counsel. Was I ever wrong? Their plane is diverted to New York City, where they hang out in an airport hotel trying to make something of a vacation. We are hammered with a category 4 hurricane.

Marlene is with us when  hurricane “Wilma” arrives. The three of us are sitting it out watching the lake from the rear sliding doors. The first part of the storm comes from the east and we do see quite a bit of wind damage … debris flying all over. The eye of the storm arrives and I actually go outside … there is an amazing foreboding calm … and then the winds and rain pick up again … but this time from the west … straight at us over the lake. The doors are shaking, water seeping in underneath … we get a bit concerned and back our chairs away … and watch our patio being blown apart and fly away … the remaining house receives some damage, but nothing very serious. Of course we do not have any power, so a few days later we decide to meet up with Larry and his group in Orlando. It is a major project just for us to get onto the Florida Turnpike … many local roads are impassable and those that are have non-functioning stop lights. There is one big mess down here in South Florida … but we eventually get on the highway and are on our way.

On the trip up I make several phone calls trying to arrange for some hotel accommodations, but find nothing available. We exit the Florida Turnpike in the Orlando area and Marlene spots a sign promoting discount Disney tickets and available hotel reservations … she wants to go in and try our luck … I tell her these fly-by-night shacks are all over and not worth our time … but she insists, and I agree to give it a try. Unbelievable … we luck out and get a brand new condo apartment a few miles away with 2 bedrooms, a hot tub in the master bedroom, and all sorts of conveniences … and for under $100 a night. We spend several delightful days there and Brian, who is at college about 45 minutes away, joins in for an evening’s activity. 

In January 1998 I get thrown a surprise 70th birthday party. All my personal and business friends, as well my entire family, including all children and grandchildren attend. A great time was had by all. In March 2005, Florence turned 75 and we celebrate with old friends and cousins at the same Boca restaurant as my 70th.

Three years later, January 2008 it is my turn again … my 80th … and Florence throws me a brunch for our Boynton Beach friends. Coincidently the PMA show that year takes place in Las Vegas and is scheduled for late January. Our kids pitch in to do a family celebration out there … two days before my birthday is Ansel’s and this is his 19th … together we almost made 100. Ellen and Rob were the organizers and did a fabulous job … providing hotel rooms where needed, restaurants for celebrations and an assortment of shows and touring activities. They even held back selling their old car so an extra vehicle was available at all times … since we were a big group. On the morning of my big day I got a phone call from Jennifer in Florida and Brian who was stationed in Japan … both were unable to join us … this was indeed a big day for me. 

One of the highlights of the event was the airplane tour ride and visit to Grand Canyon with a helicopter ride to the bottom. You can see from the pictures, January is not a very good time to make this trip … but the group survived and another memorable event is recorded. 

Brian had recently joined the Air Force and after basic training and schooling he was sent to Japan. Unfortunately his tour of duty in Japan was short lived as he was transferred to Baghdad, Iraq … where he is today … we are very concerned for his safety and look forward to his return to Japan which is expected within a few months. He has informed us of his intent to marry Waka and this is scheduled for early next year.

During the Boca/Boynton years our family grew and matured. In particular what was most enjoyable was watching Vero. Our first encounter with her was 1988 in Boston where we found a nice, quiet and shy young girl in love with our son … striving to find a place in their lives where she could contribute. They visited with us many times in Florida and we with them in Cape Cod and later in France. In a relatively short period of time Vero became a devoted mother, a valuable business associate with Larry, and a warm and lovable daughter-in-law … so much so that today I truly feel we have 3 daughters.

There was that one evening in Boca when after our traditional outdoor barbecue dinner with wine, Ansel and I went in for a swim. Vero was wearing a new dress and I dared her to join us in the pool. To my surprise, dress and all, in she dived … indeed she was out of her shell and an integral part of the Steins. What a delightful moment.

Ellen’s previous husband Alan we knew from Spring Valley. He has a keen and focused mind as well as a good heart. Although he graduated from Clemson University with a Masters degree in Biology he was employed in the new and growing computer industry. During my early Boca years he was always available to help me with any computer hardware or software problems I ran into. Indeed there were many doors he opened for me. It was a sad day in 1995 … frankly a very sad day … when we were told of the impending divorce. Ellen and Alan apparently just couldn’t make it work any longer. For many years after the divorce I maintained my relationship with Alan … meeting with him for lunch periodically … this continued up until when he moved to the Daytona Beach area. From time to time we still touch base. In spite of his no longer being a family member I continue to find him a devoted father and an intriguing person. 

Both Ellen and Alan found new spouses … and we met Rob Crawford for the first time in 1996. Rob has a razor sharp mind … and met Ellen at the local Bridge club where he was recognized as an outstanding player. Ellen as well has a keen mind … fast with numbers … and performs well with what she likes. It is of little surprise that she holds her own in this sophisticated card game and apparently a match was made. The pair soon became a professional bridge playing team seeking out students and clients. Rob has proven to be a good husband and has adjusted well to the problems associated with 2nd marriages with children. He has a load of patience and a warm heart … not much more to be asked for. I personally enjoy his company.

Marlene’s chose to practice her legal skills in government and has a high level position in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). She visits with us frequently … either joining in when the French group comes over or alone during special occasions. We speak with her weekly and often when a serious medical situation would arise she offers to come down to Florida and standby. She has a good heart along with a remarkable brain … she is well read and her ability to retain knowledge is incredible. On many occasions she has been my live “Google”.

Larry is bright, alert and cheerful and applies much wisdom to entrepreneurial activities … his greatest asset however is the spirit of excitement he attaches to each and every project he encounters. He projects depth to all his activities and searches out all potential information. Whether it is running a restaurant … paragliding … or poker … he goes way beyond executing the mere motions. He studies and analyzes in depth … and usually succeeds … he has come a long way from selling ice cream on Cape Cod.

Indeed from my perspective I am very proud of my relationship with my children. We shared many experiences together … some sad … others joyful … many just routine everyday events … we have each grown and matured together … on a base of love and affection. Yes I am equally pleased and thankful.

I imagine a father naturally gravitates towards a son … and I don’t know exactly when … but sometime ago Larry and I became good friends … for certain a step above a father-son relationship. He continues to be involved in entrepreneurial ventures from which he shares all details with me. There are few … if any … confidentialities that stand between us.

At this point I must point out how contented and pleased I am with my entire clan … my wife … my children … their spouses … my grandchildren … and my great grandchildren. At this stage of my life this is indeed a blessing. My heart is filled with pride. There will be others who will join our family after these words are written and I am certain they will be first-rate additions. I hope down the road the younger ones can read these pages … what better way to know who you are than to find out who we were.

This is the end of June 2008 and I am still at it. It is a year since I began this adventure and composed the introduction. I have completed the text but there are many housekeeping chores still to deal with as well viewing a few thousand photos … choosing which to discard … which to retain … and select from these those to be included with these pages. There are many days ahead to be filled with scanning and enhancing of old photos. I did not make my deadline of last January and probably need several more months before completion. It looks as if this Stein Saga will be a 2 year project … well it has been a busy life.

We have a few scheduled family events coming up … both Jennifer and Brian are planning marriages … and I plan to record these at the proper time in the next chapter, Addendum. I am also anxiously looking forward to Brian’s safe exit from Iraq which is scheduled for late September and Jennifer’s new baby sometime later this year. 

So I have come to the end of this Saga … perhaps this is only a rest stop and there are many more miles to go … time will tell. However it is inevitable that there will be a final farewell one day. For my family, who hopefully have read these pages … I hope I have made my point … as I said in my opening remarks … I have had one hell-of-a-time … well beyond any expectations. Do not shed tears for me … it is easy to leave but tough to be left behind.

Love ya.