Sunday, March 19, 2006

Old Cold Rain

Today's been a day to stay in. I only ran out briefly to get the Sunday paper and to throw out some birdseed. Jilda had invited some of her family up for lunch today and they showed up at noon. Jilda had made slaw, cornbread and a big ol' pot of beef stew. It's hard to beat beef stew on a cold rainy day. I've spent most of the day transferring my blog entries from the old site to this one. If they get the old site fixed soon, I'll continue to use it because I like the functionality better, but I can't take any more three day outages. Today was my old friend Ron Norris' birthday. He passed away a few days before my younger brother in 2000. Ron was the first person I ever knew that was into computers as a vocation. He encouraged me to work in the field. He and his wife Kaye lived in Atlanta for years before selling their condo and moving to the beach at Blue Mountain, Florida. We helped them move their furniture and we visited them often. Ron also loved playing guitars. He was never really that good, but what he lacked in skill, he made up for in enthusiasm. He had picking parties at the beach twice a year and pickers from all over the south would show up to play old songs and new. The day of the party was always spent racing around the area picking up fresh vegetables, fruit, seafood, beer and a Key Lime Pie or two. After the mid afternoon nap, Ron would bolt into action juggling kitchen utensils, cutting boards, herbs and secret spices that were used to make his world famous gumbo. When all the shrimp had been peeled, all the veggies sliced and diced, the seafood poured in at the optimum time the crowd of hungry pickers was almost in frenzy. Ron would have someone put on the Little Feat's "Mighty Rad Gumbo" song on the stereo crank up the volume to maximum and the gumbo dance would start. It was a rule of the house....if you eat gumbo, you got to get in the gumbo line, dance past the stove and give the gumbo a stir. Now I'm not much of a dancer, but I loved Ron's gumbo and so I danced. When the song was over, everyone would line up and go through the gumbo serving line and get a big helping of one of the most delicious seafood dishes on the planet. After the food, we all pitched in to clean up the kitchen while Ron kicked back and tuned his guitar. Afterwards we would play....usually, all night long. So happy birthday Ron on this cold rainy day.

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