The theme for Wednesday was love.
Look at the love in this picture.
Mother and daughter on the beach, wading into the surf? You can’t beat it. They are loving each other and the ocean, loving the place and moment they are in.
Another person who loved this place was Waldo Sexton.
Like us, he escaped from that benighted Hoosier-infested area to the north known as Indiana, and found a better life in the subtropics. Like us, he was a little crazy, driven by a mad passion for life. Like us, he enjoyed dressing up in outrageous costumes.
Time has threatened to wash some of his accomplishments away, like the designs we’d made on the beach the day before, but three living monuments remain: The Driftwood, McKee Botanical Garden, and the Ocean Grill.
For those keeping score at home, we lodged at the Driftwood all week, and we visited the McKee gardens for Solstice.
On Wednesday evening, we strolled on down to the Ocean Grill.
The place ain’t cheap. In fact, dinner here cost as much as the week’s worth of groceries we bought on our first night. But my family’s worth it. Of course you don’t have to buy a fancy dinner to show your family you love them, but it’s nice if you can swing it from time to time. I’ll forgo a full review of the restaurant, except to say most everything was perfect — especially the cocktails.
Sexton was a man who was not afraid to render an opinion and who never hesitated to embroider a story. He loved martinis and women, bells and things from the sea, and he possessed a compelling urge to create. Some people called him an irresponsible screwball, an untruth he shrewdly did not deny, knowing that the world loves an eccentric.
I took that photo at McKee four years ago, but I had to sneak it in here. I’m fascinated with Waldo’s fascination with bells. They say he gave many bells to local churches but never joined one.
Waldo Sexton — truly a model for us all. For what is a screwball but someone who loves the world too much? If you’re a hater, they call you a curmudgeon. Screwballs are lovers, and that’s what I aim to be.
Plus, I love martinis and women too.
For more on Waldo Sexton, you really have one authoritative source: Tales of Waldo E. Sexton: 1885-1967 by George W. Gross. This includes a 1987 reprint of a priceless point-by-point comparison showing correspondences between Waldo and the biblical Jacob.