Archive for the ‘CELEBRATIONS’ Tag




New look for the 19 year old–got a crewcut today and started the outline of a new beard!

Friday evening we went to Morton’s Steakhouse and when Ron came into town on Thursday we went to Gamaroff’s.  One had a ‘special’ on prime ribs serving a 16 ounce piece for $55. Another had 2 different cuts with a 16 ounce priced at $12.95 with 25% off during 2-4 PM bringing it down to $9.71 and another cut at 32 ounces at $27.25 (discounted to $18.71) They all were excellent.




The ex-Christmas now Leap Year Cactus continues to bud and bloom– 10 pink blooms and 3 buds–2 white blooms and 2 buds–will/when it hit 19?



Even the White Bird of Paradise is getting ready to celebrate Leap Year–2 birds are ready to bloom!!


February 29th is special…

It’s the reason that a season comes at the same time every year.

If you’re born on Leap Day… Welcome Home!

Just 14 days to our next birthday!



Posted February 15, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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From my written diary in 1968 :

“February 29–for my 8th birthday Bernie and Alex threw me a party at our new apartment–about a dozen people–the night before we celebrated at the Blue Ribbon and had dinner at Sun Luck–the day after Durinka, Bernie, Alex, Ronnie, Gino and I ended the celebrating with brunch at the Scandia smorgasbord .”

The year before–March, 1967–I had joined Weight Watchers and by September, having lost 75 pounds at that time, I went to work for them lecturing 6-7 classes a week plus working various waiter jobs like lunch at Miller’s in Wall Street and Dan Dowd’s on 47tha lot would happen after that from Bernie and I becoming partners in December–he, Alex and I renting a 2 bedroom apartment at 301 East 22nd street–Bernie getting the Weight Watchers Memphis franchise in June, 1969 and my joining him in Memphis on October 12 that year and then, before I knew it, I was 9 years old!! And now I am 19–where did the decade go? LOL

For my 19th birthday I will, for several reasons, be going on a different track to celebrate my birthday by not giving a party. Thanks to Corine, Charlotte and Charlie I will be going to the opening night at the Broward Performing Arts Center on February 29 of “Billy Elliot” which I am eagerly looking forward to seeing. In the afternoon I plan to have lunch at one of my favorite restaurants, The Cheesecake Factory, which will include a piece of their Godiva Chocolate cheesecake.

On February 18 we will be driving up to the ‘new’ Plaza Theatre in Manalapan to attend a Master Class on musical comedy theatre given by THE Donna McKechnie and in the evening seeing her one woman show “Musical Comedy Life”. As far as I am concerned I am spending an evening with Cassie from “A Chorus Line” and if I don’t get too tongue tied–yes me!!!!–hopefully I can get a picture with her!!

In between the class and show we will go for a bite to eat at the Old Key Lime Restaurant which claims to be the oldest restaurant in Florida and is on the water–I haven’t been there is a couple of years and it was good back then.

Before and after that Saturday I plan to treat myself to restaurants that I have enjoyed previously or those I have always wanted to try such as: Morton’s Steakhouse, Eastend Brasserie at the Atlantic Spa on the beach, Seasons 52, Eduardo De San Angel, Cafe Vico, Marriott Harbor Beach, China Grill at the Hilton on the beach, Steak954 just to name a few. Some things never change and one is that my Leap Year birthday will revolve around food–at least 19 restaurants! So far I have been to:




After The Cheesecake Factory and the Key Lime House only 10 more to go!


February 29th is special…

It’s the reason that a season comes at the same time every year.

If you’re born on Leap Day… Welcome Home!

Just 15 days to our next birthday!

Posted February 14, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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  • February 29, 1288 It becomes legal in Scotland for a woman to propose marriage to a man.

  • February 29, 1504 Christopher Columbus uses a lunar eclipse to frighten hostile Jamaican natives into providing his crew with food. (And I went to Christopher Columbus High School in the Bronx 444 years later!)

  • February 29, 1504 Columbus uses a lunar eclipse to frighten hostile Jamaican Indians

  • February 29, 1528 “Patrick Hamilton, student of Parid, Louvain, St Andrews, Marburg, Abbot of Fearn, burned at St Andrew for heresy, the first Reformation martyr in Scotland”

  • February 29, 1692 “Sarah Good & Tituba, an Indian servant, accused of witchcraft, Salem”

  • February 29, 1696 English ex-premier Earl Danby accused of corruption (Some things stay the same!)

  • February 29, 1704 “Queen Anne’s War: French forces and Native Americans attack and destroy Deerfield, Massachusetts, killing 100 men, women, and children.”

  • February 29, 1712 “February 29 is followed by February 30 in Sweden, in a move to abolish the Swedish calendar for a return to the Old style.”

  • February 29, 1720 “Queen Ulrika Eleonora of Sweden abdicates in favour of her husband, who becomes King Frederick I.”

  • February 29, 1784 Marquis de Sade transferred from Vincennes fortress to the Bastille

  • February 29, 1796 “Jay’s Treaty proclaimed, settles some differences with England”

  • February 29, 1816 Dutch (King) Willem II marries Russian grand-duchess Anna Paulowna

  • February 29, 1848 Neufchatel declares independence of Switzerland

  • February 29, 1856 Hostilities in Russo-Turkish War cease

  • February 29, 1864 “American Civil War: Kilpatrick-Dahlgren Raid fails – Plans to free 15,000 Union soldiers being held near Richmond, Virginia are thwarted.”

  • February 29, 1880 Gotthard railway tunnel between Switzerland & Italy opens

  • February 29, 1892 Britain & US sign treaty on seal hunting in Bering Sea

  • February 29, 1892 “St. Petersburg, Florida incorporated.”

  • February 29, 1904 “Theodore Roosevelt, appoints 7 man committee to study Panama Canal”

  • February 29, 1908 Dutch scientists produce solid helium

  • February 29, 1916 “Child labor: In South Carolina, the minimum working age for factory, mill, and mine workers is raised from twelve to fourteen years old.” (And 96 years later Newt wants kids to work for nothing.)

  • February 29, 1932 Failed coup attempt by fascist Lapua Movement in Finland

  • February 29, 1932 “TIME magazine features eccentric American politician William “”Alfalfa”” Murray on its cover after Murray stated his intention to run for President of the United States.”

  • February 29, 1936 “Baby Snooks, played by Fanny Brice, debuts on the radio program The Ziegfeld Follies of the Air.” (And 28 years later I go see Barbra Streisand as Fanny Brice in “Funny Girl”.)

  • February 29, 1936 FDR signs 2nd neutrality act

  • February 29, 1940 “””Gone with the Wind,”” wins 8 Oscars”

  • February 29, 1940 Finland initiates Winter War peace negotiations

  • February 29, 1940 “For her role as Mammy in Gone with the Wind, Hattie McDaniel becomes the first African American to win an Academy Award.”

  • February 29, 1940 “In a ceremony held in Berkeley, California, due to the war, physicist Ernest Lawrence receives his 1939 Nobel Prize in Physics from the Sweden’s Consul General in San Francisco.”

  • February 29, 1944 5 leaders of Indonesia Communist Party sentenced to death

  • February 29, 1944 “US troop land on Los Negros, Admirality Islands”

  • February 29, 1944 World War II: The Admiralty Islands are invaded in the American General Douglas MacArthur-led Operation Brewer.

  • February 29, 1948 “Stern-group bomb Cairo-Haifa train, 27 British soldiers died”

  • February 29, 1952 Dick Button wins his 5th consecutive world figure skating title

  • February 29, 1952 The island of Heligoland is restored to German authority.

  • February 29, 1956 Islamic Republic established in Pakistan

  • February 29, 1956 President Eisenhower announces he would seek a 2nd term (And Obama does same 56 years later????)
  • February 29, 1960 “An earthquake in Morocco kills over 3,000 people and nearly destroys Agadir in the southern part of the country.”

  • February 29, 1960 “Earthquake kills 1/3 of Agadir Morocco population (12,000) in 15 seconds”

  • February 29, 1960 Hugh Hefner opens the first Playboy Club in Chicago.

  • February 29, 1960 “JFK makes “”missile gap”” the Presidential campaign issue”

  • February 29, 1964 “Frank Rugani sets badminton shuttlecock distance record, 24.3 meters”

  • February 29, 1964 “In Sydney, Australian swimmer Dawn Fraser sets a new world record in the 100-meter freestyle swimming competition (58.9 seconds).” (And 8 years later I go to Sidney!)

  • February 29, 1964 LBJ reveals US secretly developed the A-11 jet fighter

  • February 29, 1964 North Carolina high school basketball teams play to 56-54 score in 13 overtime

  • February 29, 1968 “Beatles’ “”Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”” wins Grammy” (43 years later I see “Rain: A Tribute To The Beatles”)

  • February 29, 1968 Dr. Jocelyn Bell Burnell announces the discovery of the first pulsar (a star that emits regular radio waves).
  • February 29, 1968 US end regular flights with nuclear bombs

  • February 29, 1972 “Hank Aaron becomes first baseball player to sign for $200,000 a year”  (And 1972 is one of the best years in my life financially!)

  • February 29, 1972 “Jack Anderson discloses Dita Beard (ITT) memo indicating antitrust charges were dropped for $400,000 contribution to Republican Party” (Some things never change!)

  • February 29, 1972 “Vietnam War: Vietnamization – South Korea withdraws 11,000 of its 48,000 troops from Vietnam.”

  • February 29, 1980 Gordie Howe becomes first NHL player to score 800 career goals

  • February 29, 1980 “Michael Bracey ends 59 hours 55 minutes trapped in an elevator, England”

  • February 29, 1980 “Yigal Allon, former Israeli foreign minister and supporter of Israeli independence, dies at age 61.”

  • February 29, 1984 Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau announces he is leaving office after serving over 15 years.

  • February 29, 1988 Mark Greatbatch scores 107 vs England on Test Cricket debut

  • February 29, 1988 Nazi document implicates Waldheim in WWII deportations

  • February 29, 1988 “NYC Mayor Koch calls Reagan a “”WIMP”” in the war on drugs”

  • February 29, 1988 South African archbishop Desmond Tutu is arrested along with 100 clergymen during a five-day anti-apartheid demonstration in Cape Town

  • February 29, 1992 Dawn Coe wins LPGA Women’s Kemper Golf Open

  • February 29, 1992 The Professional Spring Football League begins

  • February 29, 1996 “A Peruvian Boeing 737 crashes in the Andes, killing all 123 people aboard.”

  • February 29, 1996 “Daniel Green is convicted of murdering the father of basketball star Michael Jordan during a 1993 holdup, and is sentenced to life in prison.”

  • February 29, 1996 Kenya defeat West Indies (all out 93) in Cricket World Cup

  • February 29, 1996 Novelist Joan Collins awarded US $1 million from Random House for breach of contract. (And she didn’t give me any of it for my 15 Leap Year Birthday!)

  • February 29, 1996 “Soyuz TM-23, lands”

  • February 29, 2000 “Six year old Dedrick Owens shoots and kills Kayla Rolland, also six years old, at Theo J. Buell Elementary School in Mount Morris Township, Michigan. Rolland is currently the youngest victim of a school shooting
    2000 Feb 29 Destiny’s Child Release “Say My Name” Single in the US

    “Say My Name” is a song by American R&B group Destiny’s Child. The song was the third single from the group’s 1999 album The Writing’s on the Wall, released through Columbia label in 2000…
    2000 Feb 29 The Smashing Pumpkins release MACHINA/The Machines of God

    MACHINA/The Machines of God is The Smashing Pumpkins’ fifth studio album, released on February 29, 2000. A concept album, it marked the return of drummer Jimmy Chamberlin and was intended…
    2004 Feb 29 76th Academy Awards

    The 76th Academy Awards ceremony honored the best films of 2003 and was broadcast from the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California on ABC beginning at 5:30 p.m. PST/8:30 p.m. EST, February…(And I wasn’t invited!!!)
    2004 Feb 29 Jean-Bertrand Aristide is Ousted from Power in Coup d’État

    The 2004 Haiti rebellion was a coup d’etat that happened after conflicts that occurred for several weeks in Haiti during February 2004. It resulted in the premature end of President Jean-…
    2008 Feb 29 Boston Celtics defeat Charlotte Bobcats, 108-100

    While several players talked openly about the likely addition of veteran point guard Sam Cassell, Celtics coach Doc Rivers had a more immediate issue on his mind. “I’m not worried abou…
    2008 Feb 29 FDA Approves Wyeth’s Pristiq

    Desvenlafaxine is an antidepressant (serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor type-SNRI) used in the treatment of depression. It works by restoring the balance of natural substances

Posted January 22, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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(Leap Year Wall)

The picture above only represents 9 birthdays, 36 years, but I remember all 18 of them! I consider myself very lucky  that I am a Leap Year Baby, having a birthday only once every 4 years, and I have always taken advantage of that fact. Of all my birthdays I ‘remember’* (more about that later) the 10th for many reasons including that I was at the zenith of my career, looks, finances and life and I had someone to share it all with me.

Feb. 29, 1976 My 10th (40th) birthday–I rented the Memphis Hilton Hotel Ballroom and 2 banquet rooms–invited 350 of my closest friends–had a jazz cocktail party with Southern themed appetizers to start, then a sit down prime ribs with Yorkshire pudding and  Caesar salad dinner, with a band to play music while we dined, followed by a dessert, liqueur and dancing ending. In  the pictures near the bottom you will see a 5 tier carrot cake! Made the front page society section of the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper. The party cost me $14,000–remember these are 1976 dollars! :o)

I was thrilled that Dick Hershey and Mary Culleton (she was the clerk at the first Weight Watchers meeting I ever attended) flew down from New York, Cleo, (my Dad’s mistress, but that’s another blog LOL) from Kansas City. Dr. Robert and Ginny Pozos (she died a few years ago from cancer–I loved her dearly and for some reason, well for many reasons, Maria reminds me of her!) came in from Duluth, Minnesota, but I was disappointed that quite a few people didn’t come like Bernie, my ex, Clara and a few others from Weight Watchers, Gene, my father, my brother and sister-in-law and my beloved Flo.

(The article in the Memphis Commercial Appeal with the sketch made by the paper’s artist.)

That’s me in the light brown tux in each picture and in the picture on the bottom right, standing on the left, was at that time my partner Johnny who now lives in Texas.

The dancing fool is me! I’ll talk about the other folks very soon–it is a mystery!

On the lower left from left to right are Cleo, the mistress LOL, Barbara and Margie who left WW to come with me to open Our Weigh–by the way I was so drunk I was SINGING! And I don’t even carry a tune–let’s talk about that being drunk.

On January 21, 2012 I will celebrate 31 years of sobriety. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case on February 29, 1976 when I vaguely remember(ed) the cocktail party and am not able to tell you a thing that happened during and after dinner. I, literally, have hundreds of pictures taken that evening but just in the pictures above I can only name 6 of the people. Who are, where are, the 350 people who came to that party? Looking over all the pictures I can, maybe, name a dozen but I only know where one is today!

Do you recognize anyone from 35 years ago? maybe I should put a slew of pictures on Facebook and see if anyone responds!?!

Strange to have memories of something you don’t remember but I do know it was a highlight of my life–figure that one out!





February 29th is special…

It’s the reason that a season comes at the same time every year.

If you’re born on Leap Day… Welcome Home!


Just 41 days to our next birthday!


Posted January 19, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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Considering that I was in the hospital for 31 hours, from Friday, December 23, 7 AM until December 24, 2 PM Saturday, with nothing to eat or drink for 40 hours, with cumadin poisoning that could have, almost did,  kill me, I was gratful to be at the following celebration. I will elaborate on the former in a blog tomorrow along with my bad lungs, C.O.P.D. arterial fibrillation, P.E.D., etc., and other things I could moan and groan about and ask for sympathy for from my ‘friends’ but don’t! LOL Coumadin is a lethal drug but I have had to take it for 12 years but now must stop and so I guess I could start crying wolf each time I cough but I guess I won’t! Aren’t you glad YOU are MY friend and not someone else’s? {#rofl.gif}

Now on to the Christmas Day at Gateway celebration!


Most evenings at sunset we have a ‘meeting of the mindlesson the breezeway at Gateway. John, an original member and possible chairman of the board, and hos twin, Jim, an honorary (?) member decided that for Christmas Day they would buy some pizzas for the group and we would get together around 3:30 PM. Jim would pick up the pizzas from Big Louie’s-he was a little late LOL. Poochie (that’s her name!!!) volunteered to bring the drinks, mainly wine, which she did. We had a big problem the night before–a main water pipe busted and Fort Lauderdale didn’t have water and when we did get it we had to boil it before using it so though she had the bottle in water and ice we couldn’t use any of it. She did have a bottle of non-alcoholic wine—really grape juice.


I bought the table settings—all in red–my favorite color and apropos for the holiday–red tablecloth (I should have gotten two), cups, plates, napkins and forks, spoons and knives. I, also, provided cherry candy canes and white chocolate covered mints. Someday I will have to get John to write his story about how the original candy canes came about .

The guys got 4 large pizzas as we thought if anyone came by we would offer them a slice or two plus we all had asked people to stop by. As it was, except for our new security guard, no one else stopped by. (Would you like to guess who took all the extra slices home? RIGHT!) Along with John, Jim, Poochie and myself there was Irene, Roosevelt, a new resident, Dot and Larry.

A good time was had by all and here are a few of the pictures:


BEFORE                                                    AFTER






It was a beautiful Christmas Day–around 80 degrees, sunny, a slight breeze–good pizzas but, more important, good people!


“A man is what he thinks about

all day long.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson  1803-1882  American Essayist, Poet and Philosopher


Going to see Wednesday

Posted December 26, 2011 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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