Persian Lime

I ordered Myer Lemon trees and a year later realized that I was watering a Persian Lime tree- so much for making lemonade.

South Florida Beauty

Residents of South Florida are blessed with scenes like this one almost daily- I captured this training for one of my 1/2 marathons.

Reflective Self-Portrait

A quick self-portrait while photographing every day objects in a local North Miami Beach park. I love our local parks.

Fins Up!

Whether it's the marine life or American football, I love Miami's Dolphins. Go Fins!

Cool Water, Good Books and Fresh Air

One could argue that all is needed for a good life is warm sun near cool water in the fresh air with good book and perhaps some good company.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

4/27/1944 7:30pm -- Dear Mother, Dad, and Walt:

Dear Mother, Dad, and Walt:

I am on watch again tonight so here comes a letter. I am still seeing a lot of New York and I guess there isn't much I can write about except what I have been doing so here goes.

Of course I am still seeing a lot of movies and stage shows. When there isn't anything else to do or when my money runs short I find myself there, but one thing is for sure-- I never stay at home. The movies I have seen since my last letter have been ... [11 movies listed]

For stage shows:
  • Alan Jones, the Hollywood movie star and singer, plus a supporting stage show.
  • Ted Lewis, his orchestra and revue.
New places to eat:

One night I was invited to a young married couples apartment for dinner. His name is McKee-- he is an Ensign at the Navy Yard and a good friend of mine. His wide served an excellent dinner-- the main course was ham with all the trimmings fixed in a fashion that a young bride would prepare to make an impression. After dinner we talked and I went home.

I had an American dinner at the french restaurant "Au Petite Gourmet" in the Village. Another good american meal was had at the University Restaurant in the Village.

One of my very fine dinners was at Enrico & Paglieri's at 64 West 11 Street. This restaurant is just about a block away from where I live and on the same street. I have already sent you the menu.

Another evening I was invited to dine at the Harvard Club by a Lt. (jg) and two other Ensigns. This place is quite exclusive and quite expensive-- you have to be a Harvard grad or be going to Harvard to be a member. I had a full course dinner the main course of which was sweetbreads.

One of my best meals was at the Gripsholm-- this is a Swedish restaurant. A meal here includes the Smorgasbord which is a buffet luncheon of the various types of Swedish foods and the variety runs from soup to nuts. I couldn't begin to name the different kinds of foods and you can have all you can eat. This is one place I am going to take you when you come to N.Y.

When you come to N.Y. I will take you to French Restaurants, Italian Restaurants, German, Spanish, Chinese Restaurants etc. So you had better start to feeling good, so you will be able to make the rounds with me.

I have not seen any more plays since my last letter but I have seen the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo at the N.Y. City Center. Not expecting to like the Ballet at all I was very much surprised for I liked it very much. These ballets are the epitome of grade and present a story in pantomine dancing that is little short of marvelous. I am going to see more of them before they leave New York.

This is two days after I started this letter but something happened on watch that delayed my finishing it and I have not been able to get at it since then. Now to continue.

One night Ensign Byers and myself went to the Yorkville District on East 86th street. This street is known as the German Broadway of New York. Here between 2nd and 3rd avenues are the German Brau houses (public taverns). Its a wide street and a little down at the heels now because of the war but there is still enough life to keep things interesting. They have gaudily painted Bavarian beer garden entrances but their interiors are very prim. Byers and I were on the prowl so to speak but our exchequers kept us in check. First we went to the Lori Li--a typical tavern with plenty of girls and each one ready to take you to the cleaners bu we weren't taken. We stayed there about an hour and half and then went across the street to the Gloria Palast. This was a much nice place, in fact nicer than most night clubs. We danced with several girls but I came home alone and considered myself as having had a satisfactory evening.

But now comes the big news. Last Sunday I did it. Thats right I went to the Stork Club. The Stork Club isn't what it is because of the place but because of the people who attend it. The club itself isn't much; it includes four rooms, each of them very small. The main dining room has grey walls interspersed with many mirrors and pink draperies and lemon-yellow ceiling. The dance floor in the middle of the room is oval and about 10 ft. in diameter. The Cub Room is sound proof for conversation and has on its walls portraits of models by famous artists. We did not stay long-- only long enough for a drink at the bar. During that brief period I saw Adolph Menjou, a captain in the Navy and an apprentice seaman. After the Stork Club we went to another exclusive joint-- the Savoy Plaza Hotel at 59th street and Park Ave. We were in the Cafe Lounge where we heard Clemente's Marimba Band with Narita, the exotic Puerto Rican, who sang and danced to her native songs.

Last night I had dinner in an ultraexclusive Park Ave residence and tonight I am going to a play given by Supply Corp employees. I will tell you more about them in my next letter.

I forgot to tell you in my last letter that I am being transferred from the Purchasing Section. I have been breaking in another Ensign the past three weeks and next Monday I will go into the Executive Officer's office (Commander McManus) as his assistant for about a week and from their I don't know where I will be assigned. McManus is the second ranking officer in the Supply Corp at the Navy Yard so it will give me an opportunity to make some more good contacts. They are making the changes so they can put a permanent officer in the Purchasing Section; since I am only temporarily assigned here it makes it tough for me to get a good billet. But Commander Pfrommer has told me that I have done an outstanding job and both he and Commander McKenna will try and place me in a good department or one of my choosing for the remainder of my stay here. I would like to get into Ships Service Afloat with Lt. Beach but that remains to be seen.

I hope everything is going well at home. Dad can put my bonds in his safety deposit box if he wants to. You had better start feeling better so we can have a good time when you come to New York. Thats all for now.

[Handwritten] Love, Jack

[All misspellings were as written on the primary document; from Ensign J. R. McEveny (Supply Department, Navy Yard, New York) to Mrs. C. K. McEveny at 3056 S. 31 St. Omaha 5, Nebraska]

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Whoa! What's the 411?

Letter from Ensign JR McEveny, 4/27/1944

Life can be a roller coaster. Lots of stuff on my mind. Getting ready to take the GRE (again) to improve my score. I can start my Doctorate of Physical Therapy application as of last week. Must do 60+ hours of observation before I finish my application before Jan. 15th 2017. And all of this, I still might not get into FIU's DPT school. I can say I tried.

Had a bad sinus infection earlier this summer and am just now feeling better five weeks later. So basically took a "slacker" vacation with a whole lot of doing nothing, except feel better and take it easy. Sometimes you need that. Trying to find my awesome mojo to go do amazing and great things, but I'm scared of failing. It is especially hard when you've always had it easy at being good at most stuff.

Well, I've not been completely slacking. I started a new blog (because I don't have enough as it is): Gut Busting Good. I'm a foodie and I love taking pictures of amazing looking food. So trying to feed my passion for doing that and sharing it with others. My friends are playing along and even remind me to take pictures when I am too hungry remember on my own. I have great friends. :-) Who are amazing and supportive... I'm thankful.

During the last year I've been adopting a more minimalist lifestyle, clearing out clutter and embracing things that spark joy. A little from The Minimalist and Marie Kondo. My father collected stuff, lots of stuff during his life. He attained Air Mail from World War II, correspondence between Ensign John R. McEveny and his family in Omaha Nebraska. I want to read these and capture the story before I get rid of them. I'll be sharing them here for anyone who is interested, hopefully in chronological order.

After I get back from Vegas for BBworld16, I will start documenting and transcribing these. Should be fun. Hope you enjoy them.