Blatantly stealing a title from Reader's Digest. I decided to start a thread as was suggested by Trip. I hope it will lead to some interesting posts.
Over the course of my life I have met a few unforgettable folks. The one that stands out in my mind and heart is Patty. Some of you remember her as the mentally retarded person I took care of.
Patty moved into my home and my heart in May of 2000. She is mentally challenged and her mentality is somewhere between 6 and 15 years. As a child Patty had been relinquished to NH State School by her parents. There she remained for about 30 years. Eventually NH made history by being the first state to phase out the institution and Patty was released into a group home. From there the state began a program called Family Share. Citizens were allowed to take in a person to be part of their family. That is how Patty came into my life. Patty was very independent and had a job in a restaurant. It was not far from my home and she was allowed to walk there on her own. She would go and clean the dining room and the restrooms. She kept that job for all the time I had her. Patty and I became good friends and we went everywhere together. I even took her to New Orleans to visit my daughter with me. She went on a Cruise Mates group cruise on the Carnival Glory with me. Shortly after that cruise my time with Patty came to an end when I had to move and had no room to keep her. I was able to help choose her new home. She went to another provider that I knew and I was satisfied that she would be happy there. I visited with her and took her out frequently until I left to come to Florida. I still keep in touch with her. I miss her but I know she is happy with her current family.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.“
Years ago we stayed in a second home of a couple who were a writer and attorney, respectively. He, the writer, had a story for everything. I once threatened to write down all the places he said he was in 36. "Oh you wouldn't do that to me, would you?" Through them we met several people in the entertainment industry. Thanksgiving at their house included a fully geared CHiP motorcycle cop stopping in for a bite.
Her parents had cruised to the Helsinki Olympics in 52 or 56. They had several photos of that trip. Her father was of Finish origin and looked a little like Eisenhower, so he was a mini-celebrity ion their cruise.
All I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by; John Masefield
Carnival: Glory 2004, Destiny 2008, Splendor 2009, Freedom 2011, Valor 2012, Dream 2013
Celebrity: Summit 2011
Princess: Ruby 2010, 2014, Caribbean 2013, Coral 2014, Regal 2014
Star Clippers: Royal Clipper 2015
When I am cruising I am an early riser and love to walk around the lido deck and take pics of the sunrise...there are usually only 4-5 fellow guests up at that hour...last year on the Carnival Freedom on my jazz cruise, I was stunned to walk past legendary Jazz. Superstar George Duke who was alone leaning on the rail...on my second pass, I stop to say hello to him and give my condolances to the passing of his wife of 30+ years...He looked in deep thought, I did not want to disturb him, but I wanted to pay my respects...He was nice enough to spend about 5 minutes with me and we talked about San Mateo (where he is from and I lived there during the 80's) and how important that our youth receive music education in the lower grades in public school
This past summer he died and had just released his final CD and in the linear notes he talked about how he broke his song writing block early one morning on the jazz cruise we were on together..I wonder if that morning was when we chatted..I have a picture of Mr Duke and I together from that cruise that I enlarged and framed that I will cherish