And once in awhile, the unexpected happens…

Rocks along Palm Beach, FL

Oldold Man Finn and I took off for Clewiston, Florida at about 10:30 am this morning. He wanted to show me a little bit of Florida history during this “bad” weather – bad as in “it hasn’t broken 60 in a few a days.”

Clewiston sits on the southern edge of Lake Okeechobee. It’s the home of US Sugar Company, the company that once owned the historic Clewiston Inn where the oldold Man and I had lunch.

The Clewiston Inn looks like a classic Southern Inn on the outside with a two-story, white marble column entrance. Its inside has decor that pays homage to the Everglades – wildlife, fishing, hunting…

Glorious wooden greeting room, a legendary lounge with a wall-to-wall mural painted by a local artist, Clewiston Inn was indeed a nice little local treasure.

While at lunch, I got a call from a buddy who suggested I write about the Clewiston Inn. I might still do that. I took pictures and I’ll put them in a Flickr gallery when I get back home.

But it was after lunch that stirred the imagination

As we were leaving the parking lot at Clewiston Inn and heading a mile down the road towards “the last light in town” (because our waitress thought we knew where that was) which would take us to a scenic trail for Lake Okeechobee, I pointed out the there are roads that circle the water.

“Yeah, but you really don’t see the lake,” he pointed out.

If the “scenic” trail was any indication, then he was dead on. We shoulda brought the boat we don’t have.

As we were comin’ back from the “scenic” trail, I played around on Google Maps to check our trail back when something surprising caught my eye:

I pointed out to the OldOld man that we were actually closer to West Palm Beach (~ 45 miles) then we were to Ft. Myers (~72 miles).

“Oh yeah? You know of West Palm Beach?”

“My once-employer used to have an office there.”

He hemmed and hawed as we started to head back towards Ft. Myers.

A couple miles later he pulled into a gas station.

“You have three-quarters of a tank left,” I noted.

“Yeah, but I couldn’t turn around on the road.”

“We’re actually going to tour Lake Okeechobee?”


And before I knew it, we were headed for the Atlantic Ocean.

I’ll write more about the trip in the next couple days, but for now I was overwhelmed by the fact he turned around. I knew the OldOld man still had it in him.

I think he’s starting to realize the vitality of his age.

I’m older than I care to admit and today I got to take an unplanned, college-style road-trip from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean and back with my 84-year-old grandfather.

And if you’ve been reading, then yeah, with “six strong hands on the steering wheel.”

I can’t wait to script this into the Book of Blues Prequel. I can’t wait for the family to find out.

And by the way, Google Maps, it didn’t take us 1 day, 16 hours to drive the 46.2 miles. He doesn’t drive that slow.

Does anyone in your life need to re-remember what makes life worth living? Have you done anything with them to remind them?

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