Every January-March, my mother resides in Sun City Center, Florida to escape the north’s wintry embrace. What a smart lady! She lives there near her sister-in-law, Joanne Ognibene, and we recently went down to visit the two of them.
We happened to be visiting the same weekend as the Gasparilla Days parade, and since attending it was on mom’s bucket list, we simple had to go. Every year, a pirate ship “invades” Tampa. The pirates demand the keys to the city, and then they and other pirate “krews” participate in a parade, with floats designed to look like ships (my favorite was The Titanic). Everybody lets out their “inner pirate” that day!
As at Mardi Gras parades, people throw bead necklaces, and pretty young women tend to get the most beads. But not this time! People sitting near us in the bleachers saw Tom and me giving my white-haired Mom beads, and they began giving her beads, too. Between the three of us, we ended up with over 200 necklaces. She’s going to give most of these to my brother, Howie, to hand out at his Sticky Lips restaurants.