Five Songs

On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter –  October 30, 2020

By Columnist Tom Blake

                                                 Five Songs

One of the offshoots of the pandemic is that Champs are tapping into their personal reservoirs of creativity.

Several Champs have mentioned they are working on creative projects. Perhaps it’s because they have more free time than usual. Or, they are reflecting on their lives and what’s really important to them. It’s interesting that several men are working on writing projects such as autobiographies, blogs, or books. Women are painting, gardening, and exercising more.

Patrick Hynes, a native of Australia, is writing a postcard blog that he emails to his friends. It’s titled, “Patrick’s Brief Encounters…Snippets of my life in America.” Working as the Public Relations Director for the Anaheim Hilton Hotel years ago, he met many famous people. Each weekly postcard contains a photo and about 150 concise words. Patrick’s first postcard was about meeting Muhammad Ali. Here’s the photo of him and Ali:

Patrick’s first postcard (July 20, 2020) photo (courtesy of Patrick Hynes)

Other postcards have featured President Reagan, Madonna, Buzz Aldrin, Joe Dimaggio, Elroy “Crazy Legs” Hirsch, Sean Connery (James Bond), and Kobe Bryant.

Champ Pam Peters, San Diego, has created more than 100 paintings during the pandemic. She has created boxes of gift cards that feature her paintings. (By the way, Pam happens to be my sister; she’s the creative one in the family). Here’s one of the 100 she’s created during this pandemic.

                  Come for dinner – Shrimp Provencal

Champ Sandy,
 Sonoma County, California, also paints, “I have been painting more and creating cards from it…just a lot of fun. I’ve been dormant on writing but have started writing in my head again..and I can feel it about to jump out.”

Champ Rick O. is writing about his career as a former professional baseball player. His writing project is temporarily on hold while dealing with several serious family-health issues, which, understandably, take a higher priority than the writing.

Champ Teresa has been creative in a different way, one that has taken time and patience but is changing her life. In the August 21 eNewsletter, I wrote about refinancing my home. Teresa capitalized on the information. How so?

This week, she emailed, ‘Wanted to thank you for the referral to your broker Vanessa Schwartz. My refinance/loan closes Tuesday, a day after my 64th birthday. Yea! I am really jazzed as my monthly payment will be about $300 less than before, allowing me to stay in my home for a few more years after I retire at 70, probably (Italics by Tom). My neighbor refinanced with Vanessa as well. We are both grateful for this opportunity to lower our interest rate and payment. 

“I’m doing a little ‘happy dance’ right now, in honor of your willingness to help a stranger.”

In a coincidence, Teresa and I (and Patrick Hynes) worked for the Victoria Station restaurant chain, eons ago, but we didn’t know each other.

I’ve been friends with Rick Lenz for merely 65 years—we were classmates at Jackson High School, in Jackson, Michigan in the 1950s. Rick is a retired successful actor (played opposite Ingrid Bergman, John Wayne, Lauren Bacall, Walter Matthau, and Peter Sellers among others). He has written several books, including his latest novel, which will be published early next year.

Here is my favorite piece of art that Rick has created. This painting hangs on my wall.

                  Old Friend by Rick Lenz

   Check out this creative man at (Lots of wonderful art like this)

Another high school classmate is Carmen (Carm to me), who lives in Barra de Navidad, Mexico. Carm was featured in our May 29 eNewsletter which is posted on the website. Carm is writing an autobiography. He and Patrick Hynes often send me rough drafts of their work for my comments.

Last Friday, Carm sent a draft of Chapter 10, titled, “My Life with Karen.” Carm was a friend of Karen and her husband Charlie, and when Charlie died, Carm spent time ensuring she was doing okay. The relationship grew and they had five special years together before she passed away on August 1, 2019.

As I was perusing Carm’s Chapter 10, I noticed he included a cluster of four pictures of Karen and him. The caption under the photos reads:

Loving her was easier than anything I’ll ever do again.  –-Kris Kristofferson 

That caption blew me away. You’ll see why in a minute.

During Greta’s and my 23 years together, I’ve occasionally mentioned to her that when I pass away, I don’t want a funeral. An upbeat, fun, small, positive, memory-celebration is ok, but only if five songs that express how I’ve felt about her, are played on a video for the people attending. I wrote down the titles of the five songs on an old, tattered, envelope for her to keep in her files.

Three weeks ago, Greta left that envelope on my desk with a written request to put those songs into a word document, so she could access them on her computer desktop (I don’t know why she made that request, perhaps Greta knows something I don’t know!). 

Here are Tom’s five songs (and the links to each)

1) Loving her was easier than anything I will ever do again (written and sung by Kris Kristofferson)

Note from Tom: That’s the same song Carm used in the caption under Karen’s pictures. That’s why I was blown away. I found it hard to believe that a guy I’ve known for 65 years and I picked the same song to honor our partners.


2) If Tomorrow Never Comes (written by Garth Brooks and Kent Blazy, sung by Garth Brooks)

3) Sunday Morning Coming Down (written by Kris K, sung by Johnny Cash) 

4) Dreaming My Dreams (written by Allen Reynolds, sung by Waylon Jennings)

5) Dry Your Eyes (co-written and sung by Neil Diamond)  

Note from Tom: This Neil Diamond video I took on my phone at one of Neil Diamond’s last concerts, August 2017, at the Forum in Los Angeles. It’s not a perfect video as I didn’t zoom in until later in the video. But the sound is terrific. Note the trumpet player solo near the end. He is spectacular. It’s nearly impossible to find videos of Diamond performing this song–he rarely played it in concerts. It was originally written honoring Martin Luther King after he was assassinated. 

Do you have a song that has special meaning to you or to a loved one? Are you working on a creative project?  If so, please share it with us and tell us why it’s special.

Small world: Remembering a Johnny Cash concert 25 years ago

On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter – October 23, 2020

by Columnist Thomas P Blake

Small world: Johnny Cash concert 25 years ago

In early September, our next-door neighbors in Monarch Beach-Jake and Kresta Racker- invited Greta and me and our across-the-street neighbors, Alex and Colleen Torres, for a socially distanced happy hour in the Racker’s backyard. It was a spur-of-the-moment pleasant break for all of us after being isolated from people for months.

The Rackers, along with their son, Ethan—moved in nearly five years ago. They are ideal neighbors, friendly, fun, and considerate—but we had never socialized.

The happy hour conversation turned to Johnny Cash. Whenever the subject of Johnny Cash comes up, I always add my two-cents worth, having worked with Johnny for two years in the 1970s. I also co-produced an album with him.

Destination Victoria Station record album of Johnny Cash train songs

Jake said he saw Johnny Cash in concert only once. Jake remembered that he and his buddy Quinn from Utah saw Johnny perform at the House of Blues on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles in the mid-1990s.

I had a vague recollection of seeing Johnny perform at the House of Blues but I wasn’t sure when it was.

After the happy hour gathering, I didn’t think much more about when I had seen Johnny at the House of Blues, until last Friday (October 16,2020), when Jake sent me a text.

His text included a picture of a ticket stub from the February 25, 1996, Johnny Cash House of Blues appearance, which his buddy Quinn had found in a drawer and sent to him. Jake had told Quinn about our Johnny Cash happy hour discussion.


I started to wonder: had I been at that same show? If I had, I probably would have written about it. At that time, I had been a newspaper columnist for less than two years, writing about “Middle Aged and Dating Again” for community newspapers owned by The Orange County Register, including the Dana Point News.

I had boxes of old columns in the garage. I found a manilla envelope from 1996. I started leafing through the articles and was thrilled to find the 89th column I had written, dated March 14, 1996, titled, “Dream of a date includes an evening enjoying the music of Johnny Cash.”

(Today’s column is number 4,143—give or take a hundred).

So, I had been to the same concert that Jake and Quinn had been to nearly a quarter-century before. The article stated that it was the 31st Johnny Cash concert I had attended.

The article also stated: “This was a special night for Johnny. At midnight, he turned 64. Earlier in the day, he and his wife became grandparents together for the first time.”

And this: Johnny mentioned at the start of the show, “Later, we’ve got a surprise for you.” The surprise: “Tom Petty and two members of the Heartbreakers joined Johnny. That’s like putting a supercharger on an old Chevy.”

I printed out a copy of the article and placed it on Jake’s front-door mat. He emailed a copy to Quinn in Utah. An hour later, Jake stopped by and said the article helped him and Quinn “fill in the details” they had forgotten about the concert. Facts such as The Freewheelers were the opening band and the Red Hot Chili Peppers were also there.

The Racker family has lived next door for five years. It took Jake and me that long to discover we both enjoyed the same special night at the House of Blues 24 years before.

Jake and Kresta framed the copy of the article I gave them along with the ticket stub and presented it to Greta and me as a remembrance.

Framed article from March 14, 1996 with concert ticket stub – now on our living room wall

The world is indeed small–even in the neighbors’ backyard.

A stress-free wedding (sort of)

  On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter –  October 16, 2020

by Columnist Tom Blake

A stress-free wedding (sort of)

On Saturday, Oct 10, Greta and I left our Dana Point (California) home at 3:15 p.m. to drive to the Fallbrook home of Tina and Tod, Greta’s daughter and son-in-law’s residence. Greta’s granddaughter, Cierra, was getting married. We allowed an extra 45 minutes to get there. The ceremony would begin shortly after 5 p.m. in the backyard.

Our route was to travel south on Interstate 5, through the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base to highway 76, upon which we would head east for about 25 miles to the intersection with Interstate 15. Then we would head north on the 15 for about four miles, before turning to the west for three more miles into the scenic hills of Fallbrook. The trip normally took an hour.

While driving south on the 5, we were listening to traffic updates on KNX radio. An update stated that the northbound four-mile stretch on Highway 15 near the end of our route was at a dead stop. I was unaware of any alternate routes. My mind started racing.  “What if we can’t make the wedding on time?”

And I knew Greta had heard that newsflash and I could feel her looking at me, probably thinking, “What’s your plan?”

Then, the southbound traffic on the I-5 slowed to a crawl. Oh, oh, time to really worry about being late. We were already 45 minutes behind schedule when we turned onto the 76.

KNX traffic updates about the I-15 stopped. Was it still stop-and-go? We just couldn’t be late for Greta’s granddaughter’s wedding.

So, I chose plan B by turning onto Pala Road, an unfamiliar backroad in the direction of the Fallbrook home. Two narrow lanes, curvy through the woods. It was crunch time, nervous time for about five miles. It was one of those no-conversation stretches in the car except for Greta asking, “Do you know where you’re going?”

“Of course not; I’ve never been on Pala Road in my life,” I mumbled, along with an expletive or two. Shouldn’t the grandmother of the bride be the nervous one, not the driver?

Thank heavens for GPS. Had I not had my phone, I wouldn’t have chanced plan B. When we pulled into Tod and Tina’s driveway at 5:01 p.m., I was a stressed but relieved and happy dude.   

The wedding had been planned for June with 130 people on the original invite list. Due to the pandemic, the wedding was delayed and the invite list pared down to 14 people.

Eight were family members of Jeremy, the groom, and six were family members of Cierra, the bride, including Greta and me and Grandma Jo from Utah. That was it, no friends or outsiders.

The officiant was Marc, a friend of Chad, Cierra’s brother. Marc was perfect. He smiled a lot, and you could hear him saying to the couple, “Turn right, turn left, join hands,” that sort of thing. The couple wrote their own ceremony, which included several ribbons being tied loosely around their wrists by Marc, each ribbon representing a vow.

Officiant Mark wrapping the vow ribbons around the wrists

Then, the couple pulled on separate ends of the ribbons. The result: presto, a perfect knot. Very clever.

Besides Cierra and Jeremy, Nya the ring bearer was the coolest aspect of the ceremony. Nya is the couple’s Alaskan Husky. That’s right, a dog with one blue eye and one brown eye. Below are Jeremy and Tina tying the wedding rings to Nya’s collar,

Nya getting “ringed up” before the ceremony

And when it was time, Nya was summoned to the altar, Jeremy knelt down and removed the rings.

              Nya seemed bored; her eyes were closed at the altar

All of the women in attendance received a white rose. Here is Greta, holding her rose with her face shield on.

Greta with face shield and white rose

After the ceremony, Nya was eyeing an appetizer in Greta’s hand, he had a look on his face that seemed to say, “Don’t I at least get at a treat for being the ring bearer?” Gorgeous dog.

Don’t I get a nibble?

The father of the bride, Tod, made appropriate toasts at the dinner table, which was located outside with an incredible view of the hills and avocado groves in the distance. The 14 guests were served dinner and then the cake was cut.

At about 8:30 p.m., Greta and I headed out, arriving at home in an hour, enjoying a much-less-stressful trip back; It had been the nicest day of 2020 for us.

Are these pandemic online dating sites for real?

By Columnist Tom P Blake

 On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter – October 9, 2020

Pandemic Online dating sites and new terminology

Not long after COVID-19 arrived, emails started arriving in my inbox promoting pandemic-related dating information. New online dating sites, new dating terms, and endless offers of interviews with dating and relationship experts became the “new norm.”

On July 15, I started saving those emails in a file, thinking it would be fun someday to share some of their unusual content. I decided this was the week to do that and selected 13 of those emails.

While reading the list of 13 items, please keep in mind three things:

(1) Most emails didn’t disclose the age groups they are targeting. From the content, I’m guessing most are for people ages 20 to 50.

(2) I understand companies trying to make a living during this pandemic, but wow, some were grasping at straws. The quotation marks are theirs.

(3) I am not recommending any of these sites, just sharing info they sent.

Here are the 13 sites I singled out:


“Life for couples is about to get a lot easier, and a lot more exciting, with the release of Cobble, a new decision-making app to answer the age-old question ‘What are we doing tonight?’

“Couples independently swipe (right for yes, left for no) on our curated date night content. When both people in a relationship swipe right, it’s a match! Then we make it easy to follow through: make reservations, buy tickets, order in, chat, and more. Since we launched 10 days ago, there have been over 60K swipes!

“Cobble is…sexy. If ever there was a time to explore your partner’s desires, it’s now. From curious to kink, Cobble can help couples keep the spice in the relationship when they match on tips, tricks, toys, positions…”


“COVID-19 created a surge in online dating and video dates over the past few months, but the process is still the same. People make profiles, find a few non-embarrassing photos, and then endlessly swipe away, hoping for a match. But what if there was a better way to find the one?

“Pokerface is a social gambling/poker app that features live video chat during games, has a new feature that is revamping how singles find love.

Say Allo

“This week Say Allo, the ‘smart’ dating app announces the launch of live, virtual speed dating to better serve singles while ‘dating during quarantine.’ After seeing a 350% increase in video dates sessions across its nearly 100,000 users throughout the US and Canada, this innovative feature offers users a smarter solution to video dating. Say Allo will be hosting its first ‘live’ video speed dating event…”


“We know all about ‘booty calls,’ ‘friends with benefits’ and ‘it’s complicated,’ but situationships seem to be the new norm in the time of dating exploration, casualty and noncommittal relationships. Situationships are like playing house in a romantic relationship, but without any real consistency, dependency or reliability.”

Quarantine Breakup(s) (a new dating breakup term)

“Relationship experts are reporting they are seeing an increase in relationship breakups AKA Quarantine Breakups; a prime example is the never-ending list of recent celebrity splits.

Tom’s comment: Oh my, another new dating term! Like breadcrumbing, ghosting, LAT, now it’s Quarantine Breakups (QB for short). Here’s how QB might be used in context: “I was in a LAT, got ghosted, and now it’s a QB.”

Whistle Out

Niche dating apps, which are designed to make matches between people who share a specific interest or experience have completely taken off this year, with more than 1,500 new dating sites across the US.

“Check out the report of each state’s favorite niche dating app in 2020 on”

20 dating

“20 dating is the brand new, world-first Extreme Age Gap dating site where singles are only paired with people with a 20-year-or-more age gap. ‘Members cannot even see / message/search anyone within 20 years,’ says David Minns, the serial dating entrepreneur who created other niche sites such as Dinky One, Butterfly, and Lisa 50.”

Tom’s comment: Ah, possibly a site for seniors. A woman, age 80, told me she’d like to meet a mature man. She could join this site and have at her finger tips a list of 100-year-old men looking for younger women.  


“Can your music playlist lead to love? A new dating app is using music compatibility to make a match – and the idea is booming during the pandemic.

“Vinylly pairs potential matches based on their music streaming data and music tastes. And, with the pandemic, Vinylly has partnered with an entertainment company to provide Livestream concerts for virtual dates.”

Tom’s comment: I love country music; Greta loves classical. Does that mean we aren’t a match? Heck no. we compromise by enjoying together Dutch violinist Andre Rieu, who plays a 1667 Stradivarius violin.


“A free sober social networking app allows users to find and match with members who have similar interests and passions and has seen a 620% uptick in dating messages amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A new report found that Loosid is the most popular niche dating app for California for 2020, responsible for hundreds of thousands sober dating interactions. The app goes a step further and offers boozeless guides for restaurants that offer mocktails, since dining out is all about the experience, for many millennials and young adults.

What’s Your Price (another dating site)

“While the Coronavirus put a short hold on dating, it’s back and WhatsYourPrice released video chatting and an improved messaging platform to help singles continue their quest for love. Members virtual date, getting to know each other before ever meeting in person, saving both time and effort on a dating site unlike any other.”

Everydaycarryon (long-distance dating)

“Love in the time of Corona… Survey finds the average American single would travel for 2.4 hours to go on a date, thanks to the pandemic. 

“Now that we can’t go out as much locally, we’ve had to meet new people online; and that might mean that they don’t live that close to us. So, just how far would we be willing to travel in the name of love nowadays?”


“Welcome to Qikie, a hookup platform dedicated to creating an inclusive space for people of all genders, especially women, to have a good time. Qikie is here to help everyone embrace their sexuality, find community, and have fun without judgment. We stand for acceptance, open-mindedness, diversity, and inclusivity.”

The Senior List

“How has the coronavirus impacted the marriages and domestic partnerships of older adults 55+? TheSeniorList has answers in its latest report: “Senior Marital and Domestic Partner Relationships During COVID.”

“This is not the first storm seniors and their relationships have had to weather,” says Amie Clark, co-founder and senior editor of TheSeniorList. “While an unprecedented pandemic is a significant challenge, it is encouraging our older population is meeting it head-on, not surprisingly, with success.”

In summary, these sites appear to appeal to a younger crowd. To survive during the pandemic, they add creativity and imagination – whatever it takes for them to stay in business.

For seniors, face-to-face dating remains dangerous, particularly with strangers. Following the safety guidelines—masks, social distancing, avoiding crowds—remains the wise way to proceed. If you’re out there, be smart.

My, my, how times have changed since this picture was taken, circa 1949, in Jackson, Michigan, I’m in front row, second from left, my brother Bill is directly behind me. Jim Lefere is next to me:

Finally getting to meet Willie Nelson (well, sort of)

On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter October 2, 2020

By Columnist Thomas P Blake

Finally getting to meet Willie Nelson (well, sort of)

Two weeks ago, I mentioned that Greta and I would be attending an outdoor drive-in-movie-style concert in Irvine, California on September 25.

It was to see “True Willie,” the most authentic Willie Nelson tribute band in the world. I had never met the real Willie in person although I tried a few times at concerts.

My Stand Up Paddle Boarding buddy Russell Kerr and his wife Pam know True Willie. Russell said, “My friend Roger Hegyi has a band called ‘True Willie.’

I recalled Greta and I seeing True Willie perform four years ago at an outdoor concert at the Mission San Juan Capistrano. They were fabulous. We were amazed how much Roger looked like, and sounded like, the real Willie Nelson.

Russell had said two weeks ago, “True Willie is playing at a unique outdoor concert on September 25 at the Great Park in Irvine.”

“During this pandemic?” I said.

Russell stated, “It’s a drive-in-movie type of concert. You sit in your car or in socially distanced lawn chairs next to your car. My wife Pam and I are going.

“Why don’t you and Greta come and park next to us? I can introduce you to Roger after the show. He’s not Willie Nelson, but he’s the closest thing to Willie you’ll ever meet.”

“How do you know him?”

“Pam worked with Roger’s wife, Diane, at Aegis Assisted Living on Niguel Road, a few years back.”

Greta and I bought a car ticket in advance; the cost was only $30. We followed the Kerr’s car. To ensure we could park near the stage, we got to the Great Park an hour before the show. We were cars number four and five, respectively, in line.

Our cars were parked 20 feet apart in row two, with a clear view to the stage. We sat outside the cars in lawn chairs. It was a great concert. After each song, the audience would honk their car horns in appreciation. True Willie liked that.

The band played about 20 songs including three of my favorites: “Pancho and Lefty,” “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground,” and “Seven Spanish Angels.”

 True Willie and the Boys Irvine California September 25 2020

And yes, after the concert, Russell led us to the front of the stage. He said he had mentioned to True Willie that Greta and I would be there. When True Willie saw us with Russell, he yelled out, “Hello Tom, hello Greta.” Pretty cool for a guy we’d never met. But it was getting dark and lots of people wanted to say hello also.

I handed Roger an autographed copy of my book, “Prime Rib & Boxcars. Whatever Happened to Victoria Station?” The front cover features a 1976 picture of Johnny Cash and me together in front of the Victoria Station restaurant in Newport Beach. I thought Roger would get a quick out of it. 

Tom Blake’s book available at the bookstore listed below

Russell said, “We’ll meet Roger next week when we have time to talk.”

On Wednesday, Roger, Russell, and I met at the Coffee Importers in Dana Point Harbor.

I asked Roger: “How long have you been a musician and when and why did you become a Willie Nelson tribute band?”

Roger said, “I’ve been 50 years in the music business. Nine years ago, my family and I were attending a concert at the Greek Theater in L.A. There was a huge photo of Willie on the side of the building promoting an upcoming Willie Nelson concert.

“My daughter looked at me, and then at Willie, and said, “Dad, you are Willie. And I now am.”

Roger added, “I don’t do it for the money; I do it to make a difference and share the music of an icon.”

Over a cup of coffee, I was finally able to tell Willie Nelson (well, sort of) how much Johnny Cash thought of him. It took me 45 years to pull that off.

He handed me an autographed cd of 11 of  his songs.

If Dana Point can bring back the outdoor concerts in Sea Terrace Park next summer (canceled this year due to the pandemic), maybe “True Willie and the Boys” will be invited to perform.

Here is True Willie’s website.

P.S. this comment was added a week later. Meeting True Willie inspired me to call my long-time friend, Lou Robin, Johnny Cash’s manager from 1972 until Johnny passed away. Since then, Lou has done estate work for the Cash family. Lou in his career produced over 5,000 concerts, many of those for Johnny Cash. I worked with Lou 45 years ago; we remain great friends.

Travel during pandemic. Readers comment

On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter – October 2, 2020

By Columnist Tom Blake

Four Champs respond to last week’s topic: Should we go on our planned trip during the pandemic?

Judith, “My partner and I went on the trip you talked about – only we stayed in Paso Robles two nights, had our wine tasting reservations, stayed in Occidental Inn, two nights, and on the way home had one night at the Harris Ranch.

“We went the last week of June and it was great. My granddaughter was getting married at a B & B in Santa Rosa. The ceremony was Zoomed with 50 computers all over the country. 

“We purposely avoided big cities and it was all very respectful.  I am unable to wear a mask and glad it was then. We were careful but all the businesses were cautious and clean. Indoor dining except for the Napa area. The Bed and Breakfast cooked but it was served in a lunch box! 

“My Family gave lots of hugs and we socially distanced only the father of the groom, just recovering from pancreatic cancer. No one got sick.

“We did one more short trip to La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club for two days in August. It was clean and La Jolla enjoyable with few people. My partner celebrated his 83rd birthday during our stay.

“We only live once and we have no fear, it has been a horrible six months for our travel plans, but we have had time to reflect on the importance of our diet, health, and priorities.” 

Bonnie. “You and Greta have had a string of tough luck with travel plans. Your stories are aligned with mine. Almost exactly (Terrorism in Europe in 2015 and fires in CA in 2018).

“The good news is when you enjoy your own company, and in your case, the company of your beloved, you can have a vacation at home in OC and have a wonderful time. I think that is the secret.

“We had tickets and reservations for Paris, Annecy, France, Switzerland, and London this September – right now! – for three weeks. Keyword: had. All were canceled, beginning with my favorite, Air New Zealand, canceling the flight to Europe.

“Solo travel has to wait, for now. I have learned how enriching solo travel can be – without tours. I enjoy a year of planning and research and then the trip, itself. Magnificent experiences. Both planning and traveling.

“I have learned to pack a carry-on only, with a total of 14 pounds, including suitcase weight, which allows me on any/every flight with weight limits. And so light for me to navigate to haul around. Happy traveler. Planning now for 2022 Europe!” 

Gail, “Sorry about all your canceled trips. This is a hell of a year (When traveling roll with the flow).

“I would love to buy your camping toilet – I would even be willing to meet you to pick it up. I have a trip to LA in November and could meet you in Laguna or somewhere convenient. I would gladly pay for it now if you wouldn’t mind hanging onto it for a bit.”

Tom’s response to Gail: “This pandemic has made us all adjust our lives, including Greta and I purchasing the portable potty. I never imagined that I’d publish in an eNewsletter a short discussion about buying and selling a portable toilet but I guess I asked for it by posting (jokingly) if anyone wanted to purchase it.

“Thanks for the offer to buy the potty. However, Greta has subsequently told me rather strongly that she doesn’t want to sell it. So, to keep her happy, I’d better keep the darn can.

“I bought it on Amazon Prime. The brand is a Stansport. It didn’t cost much. They would deliver to your city.”

Fred: “Similar situation as you and Greta. I planned a road trip early September, only to cancel. Hotels along my route were canceling and many places of interest were closed. That coupled with bathroom facilities, dining etc., made me rethink. Do I want to travel to Yellowstone Park via Nevada, Utah, Idaho and return via Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico & Az. under unknown circumstances?

The answer: No. 

“Then made cruise reservations for 28 days in Europe for May 2021 only to be notified by Royal Caribbean a month later that cruise has been canceled.

“As William Bendix used to say, ‘What a revolting development this is!’  So, like you, I’m staying home until this germ is controlled.”

Champ birthday note: Today is Champ Dee’s birthday. It’s a significant one, which I won’t reveal. She lives in nearby Laguna Niguel, in Southern Orange County, Ca. Dee has been a Champ for years and has a heart of gold. Some Champs have met her at the Meet and Greets. So here’s to you Dee. (Rumor has it that there might be a new puppy in the house-arf, arf).