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One Up On John Travolta

February 28, 2012

Florida and old friends came together on Amelia Island, last week, just a few blocks from where John Grisham is running a catwalk up between his two new ocean-view homes.

Town ordinances forbid blocking the regularly-spaced exposure to the shore which mansions would certainly do; and this thoughtfulness about the future of their snug little island is what keeps Amelia pretty and low-key enough to attract off-duty celebrities, including my wife’s patron, John Travolta, who has a home here as well.

“Patron” is a family joke, but Travolta does own one of Elena Maza’s quiet gems:  the perfect palmy tropical island receding in the wake of an unseen ship whose fantail you are standing on: “The Island.” Her original oil painting sold years ago; his is a copy. Now do you want to know a secret which, in all likelihood, the movie star himself hasn’t noticed yet? If you look to the right, look beneath the wake, you can just make out a swimming sea turtle.

The only problem with the dream scenario consequent upon knowing this tidbit — you, casually admiring his collection one evening before dinner, offhandedly gesturing: “I like the way the sea turtle only emerges when you’ve savored the entire composition sufficiently, don’t you, John?” — the trouble is both Elena and I agree that, since “The Island” is a smallish picture, it’s probably hung in one of his yacht’s loos.

So my wife, the very fine artist, and I — whatever it is I do — gratefully soaked up our time in the sun, sharing the Lanes’ gracious high-tech home. One is proud to have such excellent, civic-minded friends. If their way of living is retirement, maybe we ought to all retire because in sum the world would be a better place for it.

Judy Lane is among the most remarkable women I’ve ever known: the very type of that imperative postmodern breed, the international consultant, who now offers her community the benefits of a brilliant and richly-experienced mind. Judy kindly schooled me once she noticed I pay attention to intelligent women, having married a specimen of the breed.

And what quick words can convey a tenth of Sam Lane, my oldest friend? Errol Flynn as Robin Hood says, “I love a man who can best me.” Sam Lane bests me every time — always has, always will.

Thanks, guys. As Noel Coward sang: “I’ll see you again…”

FOOTNOTE: This post is one of herbork’s most popular, so, a year later, I’ve finally linked to Elena’s picture. John Travolta bought from an Annapolis, Maryland art gallery a 9’x12′ giclee print of “Island” exactly as sold here.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Emmett Grayson permalink
    February 28, 2012 4:28 PM

    Well, you’ve enjoyed dear friends and a needed rest. Now, get Elana to give you back your crayons and get back to scribbling. Remember, don’t use the red ones. They taste too good to waste on writing.

  2. October 31, 2012 10:31 PM

    There’s something vaguely Van Gogh-like about it all! “Yo, Vinny!”

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