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Banana Express from Howie!

Hello to all,

Thanks To Everyone

I first want to thank everyone for your support and overwhelming compassion given to my family during the loss of my mom. Thanks for all the emails, the cards and letters, and to all the folks that traveled great distances to attend her services. You have no idea how grateful I am and how much this has meant and helped.

Marie LivingstonI realized something through all this, no matter how prepared I thought I was about my mom passing away, I wasn’t ready at all.  The intellectual side of me kept saying she is going to a better place and that her diminished quality of life was not something she would have wanted.  But, the emotional side of me took over and I was her little boy all over again.  After all, she always called me her baby and she was always going to be my mom.  No age or maturity ever changed that.  Realizing that this was the end was something I had such a hard time dealing with.  This was our mom, the person you could always talk to no matter what and the person who loved you through thick and thin.  A mother’s love is like no other and when they are gone there is a void that will never be filled.  Time will help heal it but it will never be filled.  That space is only occupied by a mom.  She taught me to play the guitar and sing and was always the first person to hear a new song I was working on. She was a wonderful singer and songwriter herself and music was always such a big part of her life.  Until her last breath, she was listening to her music and saying, that’s my baby.

When I was about 7 years old I saved my money and bought a small plastic trophy for 25 cents that read “Worlds Best Mother.” I gave it to her and from that moment on it never left her side. At the time I gave it to her I am sure I had no idea the impact this little thing would have. When she passed away it was right there by her side. At the funeral when asked if anyone had anything they wanted to say about Marie, the first story was about that little trophy and how proud she was of it. Well, that trophy now resides on a shelf in the Keys and each time I walk by it I feel my mom is not far away. Thanks mom for everything you have done and for being “The Worlds Best Mother.”

OK, thanks for letting me get this out, but now let’s go onto some fun stuff.

Meet Me In The Keys

Wow, wow, wow!!!!  What a fun time and thanks to everyone who made it that way.  Huge thanks to Tammy Hollander and all the Coconut Castaways for organizing all the events, and a special thank you to all the folks along the way who donated to buy the first margaritas, turquoise hats and all the other ways to donate.  Drum roll please….. We raised $39,295 for Care Camp.  This to me says so much about our friends, especially during these tough times.  When Cyndy and I set a goal of $20,000, I thought we were crazy, but everyone has been just amazing.  Thank you, thank you, thank you for helping the kids.

Key West Time TV Show

The debut of our new Internet TV Show airs this week on Thursday at 8:00 PM, (EST) June 17th.  Please watch and tell all your friends to click on as well.  The success of this show depends on how many viewers we have, so help us get the word out.  It’s free and we’re going to take you to the Keys for half an hour every two weeks or so.  Click onto to watch on Thursday at 8:00 PM Eastern, 7:00 PM Central, 5:00 PM Pacific – well, you all know where you are and can figure the time change out!


Heading Home

Cyndy and I are in Ohio visiting her mom and heading home in the next couple of days.  I cannot wait to look out the window of the airplane and see the welcoming sight of our beautiful waters.  Our hearts go out to everyone in the Gulf dealing with the oil spill.  So far in the Keys we have been spared, and I, along with many others have signed up to help with our boats as volunteers at if the need should arise.  But right now the Keys are not affected.  So, if you are planning on visiting the Fabulous Florida Keys, come on down and enjoy the most wonderful place on the face of the planet.

Well, I am sitting at my friend Gino’s house in a gazebo looking out at a beautiful view of the rolling hills of Ohio.  Tonight is valley pizza from Mama G’s and Elba’s Italian chicken on the grill, but right now I am going to find Gino and have a glass of wine with him.  Everyone please take care of each other and until we see each other again, may the tide always pull you back.


PS Not sure why there is a question mark after my name sometimes on the newsletter. Probably is appropriate, however.

(Barb adds – the question mark is MY fault – it’s because I cut and paste from what Howie sends me and for some reason my text editor in the email program doesn’t like pastes from Word!!   I DO know how to go about removing it, but it’s a new step and half the time I forget and sometimes when I try to ‘find’ the problem, it doesn’t show up so that I CAN remove it! Operator error, I’m sure – so the question mark is my fault – and not because it’s appropriate for Howie – please excuse it if it happens again!)

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