Phoning it In … and Fidel

You could probably tell yesterday I was just phoning it in.  It’s difficult enough when you’re writing a blog pretty much about nothing, and you still have nothing to say.  But, the ubiquitous “they” say if you have designs on being a writer, you should try to have the discipline to write something every day.  So, I’m sure some days it’ll seem like I’m just phoning it in.

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It’s winter at the beach, which means that the nights are in the 30’s and the days are in the 60’s.  We had company for dinner Sunday, my sister’s family and one other couple, and we had dinner out on the patio.  I do love my outdoor space, and this is the perfect time to be able to use it.  The outdoor firepit and lack of bugs make it very pleasant to be outside this time of the year.  Sometimes, in the summer, it’s just too hot.  And the spring never lasts very long.  It’ll go from this to about  a week of REALLY perfect weather to beastly.  Much better boating and fishing weather, though.

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cohiba.jpg

I’m not Cuban, but the only famous person ever mentioned when it comes to “famous people born on your birthday” is Fidel Castro. 

fidel_castro.jpgAnd Dan Fogelberg. 

THERE’s good company. 

fogelberg-crop.jpg

Any resemblance among the three people pictured is purely coincidental.  There’s also a joke to be made about a Castro speech and Fogelberg’s hit ‘Longer’ … but it’s not coming immediately to mind.  I was about 6 months old when Castro seized control of Cuba, and I’ll complete 50 trips around the sun this year.  So I guess, by virtue of sharing a birthday, I’ve always had a slightly more than passing interest in Fidel.  Now don’t get me wrong.  My last name is Patton, and I’m no fan of a Communist form of government.  I think part of the middling fascination with Castro was just that Cuba was (is) such a mystery to most of us.  I know a couple of people who have been, and they both say that the time to go is now, before the embargo is actually lifted and you can see it before it becomes Americanized.   There’s not much chance of that actually happening (me going, that is).  The other thing that fascinates me about Cuba, and Cubans, is the risk they’ll take to get the 90 miles across the straits of Florida just to get out.  The overloaded boats, and what I heard described as “Rube Goldberg” contraptions they have used to try to get across.  For instance, this truck truck-boat.jpgconverted to a boat with pontoons.  And another one, a 50’s vintage car with a bow welded on and a propeller attached to the drive shaft.  The lure of freedom is strong, it would seem, with just about every one.  At least all the people you see on the truck boat are wearing PFD’s.  From what I understand, they and the people on the car boat were intercepted at sea and sent back to Cuba.  Without comment on the policy, they must have found it worth the risk.

car-boat.jpgSo Castro stepped down today.  As is so often said in the news business, how much difference that makes “remains to be seen”.  One thing is certain, there will be change.  But what one person thinks is for the better others will certainly say is for the worse.  Being a pretty mainstream American, I feel any system that allows people to make their own choices is better than one that doesn’t.  We may now actually be closer to knowing how that works out for Cuba.

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Filed under Beach Living, Boat Stuff, Fishing, Neptune Beach, Thoughts, Weather

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