Jan 1, 2010

2010 -- WayBac Edition

For today, I am going to jump into my WayBac machine. Maybe some of you are familiar with Mr. Peabody and his boy Sherman.

Mr Peabody and Sherman | Alzheimer's Reading Room

Believe it or not, I took Dotty to see the fireworks in downtown Delray Beach last night. The fireworks go off at MIDNIGHT. Dotty no problem.

As usual our little town of Delray Beach did a fantastic job. The finale' was excellent. If you ever come to Delray for New Year's eve, let me tell you its fantastic. They close off Atlantic avenue and you can walk around without fear.

There are all kinds of street vendors and they have groups playing music right on the street corners.

We also have First Night. Lots of rides for the kids, all kinds of games, lots of fun. Oh before I forget. They do the fireworks at 9 PM for the kids,and then at midnight (midnight is the Delray tradition). The coolest thing we have is an old old carousel. We also have Santa's House, a giant 100 foot tall Christmas tree, and ice skating.


Taking Dotty out at midnight reminded me of the last time I took Dotty to the David Letterman show in NYC. This was WayBac in 1999. Dotty had just turned 83. She was pretty fiesty back in those days.

So anyway, we get over to the Ed Sullivan theater to get in line for the show, and it is like 93 degrees and humid. I figure there is no way Dotty is going to be able to stand in this line for an hour.

So I go into the theater and explain the situation to this young guy that is guarding the door. Next thing I know, we are sitting in the lobby in the air conditioning. While we are sitting there Dotty starts to chat the young man up. Here is the short version. Next thing I know, they take Dotty and me into the theater before they start letting anyone in, and tell us to take any seat we want. Not a single person other than us in the theater -- they didn't even let the VIPs in yet.

Well, later on I went in to the Bunkhouse and thought about this.

Got Dotty? No lines, no waiting no matter where we go. I just show em Dotty and we are in like Flinn.

What can I tell ya, I worked on Wall Street. There is always an angle and you gotta play the odds. In this case, nice smile, confident voice, Dotty equals bingo. I guess you could say Dotty is your ticket to ride.

WayBac when Frank was still with us, Frank is my dad, I always would take mom and dad to a show in New York. First time, what do you think they wanted to see? Cats. My assistants parents came into town and guess what they wanted to see? Cats. I saw Cats five times. I like cats and I liked the Broadway show. All five times. This was WayBac in the 80s.

Here are some tips on how to get good Broadway show tickets. Some of you probably know that you can go to 42nd Street on the day of the show and get two tickets for the price of one. Get in line way early. You'll score.

This you might not know. You can walk up to the box office of a show around noon time the day of the show and buy a great ticket. They always have "comp" tickets laying around. Sometimes you gotta buy two one-Zs. If you are willing to do that you could find yourself sitting seventh row center.

Once I had a good friend come into town on business. His wife wanted to go to Victor Victoria. It was a hot show. Before I paid the scalper, I went to the box office -- sure enough I scored a one-Z, seventh row center. As you might imagine, it blew the wife away. They kept insisting on paying for the ticket. I refused. They probably thought I paid the scalper and paid way up.


When I was single and Dad would come visit before I knew it he would know every girl that lived around me. Girls that I saw, but never said a word too. I guess you could say Frank was also a ticket to ride.

I once took Dad to the media day at the Orange Bowl. He walked up and started talking to Joe Paterno. Joe could not have been nicer. I will never forget that day -- never. December, 1985. On January 1, 1986 Penn State lost to Oklahoma and we lost what was the National Championship game. Dad was there with me. Mom passed on that one for some reason. Joe Paterno was young in those days -- 60. He is still coaching at the age of 83. Go Joe.

Not to worry, the next year Penn State came right back and won the National Championship by beating the mighty Miami Hurricanes in the Fiesta Bowl.


In the first part of my career in New York with Bear Stears, I had a pretty good gig. I was running this little operation for the firm. Guess where I had to go to see my people -- San Francisco, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago and Dallas.

When you work on Wall Street, and if you are in the right position, you get to go to all the best restaurants and hot spots. You get to eat lots of great food. This explains where part of the term "fat cats" comes from -- lots of big bellies on Wall Street.

One time, I am in the Ginger Man on Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles. I was standing at the bar and looking toward the back. All of a sudden a little buzz comes up and it looks like everyone at the bar is looking at me. I turn around and right next to me at the bar is Cheryl Ladd (think Charlie's Angels). Cheryl looks better in real life if you can believe it. I would have to say she has a smile worth a million. She was very friendly.

Years later, based on that experience, I decided to go to the Ginger Man in Manhattan. Lo and behold, I am sitting right next to William Hurt -- one of my favorite actors. Not so friendly.


As the years went by I was getting bored on Wall Street, I wanted to cover accounts in Europe. I got my chance. Another amazing gig. A few times a year I visited Zurich, Geneva, Paris, London and Luxembourg. Not bad huh.

Imagine paying $57 for a coffee, bun, and orange juice for two.

Believe it or not, you can find good pizza all over Europe. You can find great pizza on the Avenue des Champs-Élyséese and look at the Arc de Triomphe while you eat. I like pizza.

Places to see France: Cape Antibbes, Eze de Bord, Annecy, Monte Carlo. Switzerland: Interlaken, Vevey-Montreux, Zurich, Geneva.

If you hit the lottery you definitely have to stay a the Hotel du Cap Eden Roc in Cape d'Antibbes. I actually stayed there.


Someday I might tell you my story about how some guy was giving me some crap on the ride down the mountain from the top of the Jungfrau to Grindelwald, Switzerland. Ah, what the heck, I'll tell you the short version.

Guy is giving me some crap. So the train which is riding right down the side of the mountain at about 5 miles an hour is getting ready to make its only stop. I say to the guy, you know, if you get off you can walk down the side of the mountain and into town. It's a wonderful experience. He didn't get my real intent and neither did his wife.

She says, lets get off and walk. They jump off the train. The woman yells up to the conductor -- how long does it take to walk down. He tells them two and a half hours. She starts freaking but it is too late. The train is moving out. As we depart I hear her screaming at her husband. I snicker and think - have a nice day. Give me a smile and you will be pleasantly surprised, give me some crap and you won't.

First off, you don't walk straight down the side of 14,000 foot high mountain. You have to zig zag. Second, when you are on the side of mountain and you look down the perspective is distorted. So it looks like the town is right there. It isn't.

I did walk down the side of the mountain in a previous trip. Think Sound of Music -- I swear.

I just wanted those two people to get off the train. But now as I write this, it is likely that they ended up having one of the most memorable experiences of their life. I hope they didn't get a sun burnt.


Another time I jump on a plane from New Orleans to Dallas, I'm single, and these two beautiful girls that I was oogle eyeing in the waiting area get on and sit right next to me.

I am already thinking this is my lucky day. They introduce themselves -- Pam and Kiska. I say to Kiska, are you named after the island in the Aleutians? Her eyes bulge out of her head and she says, you are the first person that ever asked me that. She was 23.

How did I know that? Well, a few years earlier a plane blew up and they found a body part on Kiska. About 125 miles from where the plane blew up.

When we get to Dallas they are all worried about getting to the concert they are going to as the guest of Robert Plant (think Led Zeppelin). They end up convincing me to go with them, and when we get there they get me a back stage pass.

This story has a lot more too it but lets skip ahead. I went to work the next day in the same suit and tie I had on from the previous day. I gotta say, everything you ever heard about the way rock stars party is true.

Moral of this story. It pays to be smart.


Ok, I guess I should add some words of wisdom now.

Well, I got nothing at the moment because Dotty finally woke up. Guess I wore her out.

How about you write some words of wisdom in the comments box. Think, feel, and start 2010 off with some positive vibrations.

I wrote this in part for Laurry Harmon.

+Bob DeMarco  is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. The ARR knowledge base contains more than 5,000 articles with more than 406,100 links on the Internet. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room