Entrepreneur, Explorer, Angel.

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18TH April 2020

Cuba - Havana Culture - Legends and tales - Timeless - Timely

Shelter(ed) Day 16 – Back to Havana

Chapter 16 – Jorge …no mas Illustration- Brech bursts into the Miami garage. Ermitas Blanco- Havana. Women often smoked cigars in Havana. Its naughty, sexy and decadent… And that suited Nina just fine.  Jorge walked both Sal and Nina through the Humidor Process, omitting a few key steps that he’d already explained to Nina. This gave Sal the impression he had the full download, without really knowing that his Time Travel Tutorial lacked more than a few pages.  They all lit up, the room filling with blue cigar smoke much quicker with the three of them puffing away. Jorge held a duffel bag of cash in his lap. The timer went off with a “ding.” They waited for the smoke to clear. When they looked out the window toward the […]

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15TH April 2020

Cuba - Culture - Good Story - Havana Culture - Legends and tales - Timeless - Timely

Shelter(ed) Day 14 – Back to Havana

Chapter 14- Some Big Fish     Illustration- Pilar Boat Scene with Poppa, Brando, and the BTH Gang- Ermitas Blanco- Havana.       We can talk now.  No one for miles, but blue marlin. And shark.  Marlins and shark.  The Pilar’s owner was among the pioneers of blue marlin angling, using natural baits rigged to skip and swim, sometimes combined with an artificial lure or skirt to make “skirted baits” or “bait/lure combinations.” He found that it worked well along the eastern seaboard of the United States, and in the Bahamas, Caribbean, and Venezuela.  “Welcome aboard the Pilar,” he began, “the best marlin boat in Cuba.” He extended a hand to the lady and let the rest settle in. As he cast the line to the trailing dock, he […]

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10TH April 2020

Adventure - Creative problem Solving - Cuba - Legends and tales - Timely

Shelter(ed) Day 12 – Back to Havana

Chapter 12- Grand Prix Build up TBD Illustration- Map/ aerial view of race course from Nacional Penthouse scene The course was a simple 2.6 mile triangle beginning outside the garage near the Nacionale. After a brief straightaway, the course travelled uphill on Calle 23 , also known as Las Rampas for the Hill to the Sea. The course passed by the sugar mansions of Vedado until arriving at Calle H where the drivers had to downshift before a tricky downhill right-bank turn onto Avenida Presidente, a split six-lane boulevard. After a brief straight downhill, there was another tricky roundabout at the half-built monument to Calixto García Iñiguez, a general in three Cuban uprisings, part of the Cuban War for Independence. Although any race driver stopping to ponder this wouldn’t make […]

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10TH April 2020

Adventure - Creative problem Solving - Legends and tales - Timeless - Timely

Shelter(ed) Day 11 – Back to Havana

Chapter 11- The Bet   Illustration – Fangio and Esteban seal the bet and shake hands amid the garage gang – Blanco. This was no ordinary garage that Jorge and Ralph were pulling into: bays of McLaren, Lotus, Ferarri and Maserati were divided by immaculate tool sets, superb lighting, and staffs of jump-suited attendants cleaning up from the day’s work. It looked like the pit of any other race on the Grand Prix circuit, but all compressed into one spot. Ralph still had not put it together that he was in late 1957, and as the Buick came to a halt he assumed he was in another classic garage of another rich patron who needed a special part for a tune up. Jorge had never seen a time-traveller be so […]

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10TH April 2020

Adventure - Legends and tales - Timeless - Timely

Shelter(ed) Day 10- Back to Havana

Chapter 10 – Dream a Little Dream of Me TBD Illustration- Genetta and Nat singing in Club Room Genetta was wrapping up her modelling shoot as the sun set over the Malecon. The last shots were usually what the photographers waited all day for. She was modelling for a Cuban dress designer named “Salome,” who had this wonderful knack for dressing Havana’s most stylish women in the sheerest of materials while maintaining a simple iconic look.  The jewelry was from an avant garde designer named “Rox,” and the pieces were big, bold statements that started conversations without being ostentatious. They went well together. As the “magic moment” approached, Genetta positioned herself on a large rock in the garden overlooking the Malecon, framed by the setting sun but nevertheless visible to […]

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09TH April 2020

Cuba - Havana Culture - Legends and tales - Timeless - Timely

Shelter(ed) – Music for Back to Havana

Taking a break on the writing to add some music. I’ve tried to make this experience as immersive as possible, including its soundtrack. I wrote this with Nu Jazz, in the background, using contemporary artists to remix Jazz, Mambo, Bossa Nova and American Standards into a music bed that bridges both periods ‘57 and ‘17. The perfect group to emulate this is De-Phazz, a downtempo jazz ensemble integrating modern turntablism and elements of soul, Latin, trip hop and drum and bass into a lounge music sound. Austin Powers might have loved it. De-Phazz is led by Pit Baumgartner, a German producer who has varied the lineup of artists for every new album. Some regular members are Barbara Lahr, Karl Frierson and Pat Appleton.  Back with more Chapters next week…. ~ […]

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04TH April 2020

Adventure - Cuba - Good Story - Legends and tales - Timeless - Timely - Uncategorized

Shelter(ed) Day 4- Back to Havana

Chapter 4- The Tropicana Tables Illustration by Ermitas Blanco- Action at table five. Havana, Cuba. Sal had been sitting at the bar for awhile, when Snowball finally joined him. The “Trop” was always slow as hell between when the showgirls ended their afternoon rehearsal and the Special guests began to arrive for late dinner. That suited Sal just fine. His investigative style was “laid back nice guy,” who preferred to chum up his marks and ply them with liquor or women, while getting more information than any waterboarding had ever managed to do.  He’d trained in Tampa directly under the head of the FBI Interrogation Unit before heading down to Havana on a minor assignment for the gaming commission. Turned out, he had Cuban roots in the family, but they […]

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03TH April 2020

Adventure - Good Story - Legends and tales - Timely

Shelter(ed) Day 3- Back to Havana

  Chapter 3- The Tesla Fuse Jorge- Illustrated by Ermitis Blanco. Havana. Jorge jumped into a cab outside the Nacionale with the mobsters in bumbling pursuit.  “Where to Amigo?”  “Make a right on 23rd, up La Rampa to Havana Libre, now cut down [street] to the end of the park and hang a left. Yeah, there. It’s one way!  Yeah I know just do it. I’ll make it worth your while! Now into that little garage on the corner, by the Marti statue. Ok, pull to the back and I’ll close the door. Wait here while I get dressed. Grab yourself a cerveza from the fridge. My dad loves to drink them when he tinkers on his babies.”  Jorge hustled upstairs, while the driver looked around. He’d never seen such […]

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25TH July 2019

Family and Friends - Good Story - Legends and tales - Timeless - Uncategorized

Squaring the Curve – A Quality Life Right Through the Finish…

My father sold life insurance. Actually, people said they bought life insurance from Big Art. He didn’t so much sell it. He did this by asking questions and listening empathetically. How old are you today? Where do you work? Tell me about your family. Does your spouse work? How many kids? Where are they in school. What sports do they play? Do you play with them? What other activities interest you? How much does it cost you to live here? What do you want to be doing later in life? Do you want to retire someday? Where and how? What do you really love about life? And so on and so on. He insisted on doing it at the kitchen table, with life going on all around. That was the […]

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12TH July 2019

Culture - Good Story - Timeless - Uncategorized

You can take the boy out of the neighborhood, but never the neighborhood out of the boy…

My boyhood home recently came up for sale. That would be 113 Windy Ghoul Drive in Beaver, PA. Flipping through the pics- which show a house virtually untouched (!) since we sold it in 1974- I was reminded of how much an impact my neighborhood had on me. I could see my bedroom, and the front yard where I played endless baseball. I could see the pool where we swam until our fingers looked like raisins. The wall where my Mom’s lilacs framed the garden that provided us with so many fresh vegetables. The terraced lawns my dad loved and I despised, because half my allowance was dependent on mowing the eastern quarter. The roof where we climbed and played tag. The piano room where my sisters practiced endlessly (and […]

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