West Palm Journal: January 25

Heading home (two USAir flights, smack on time, thank goodness), here are some “snippets” of Palm Beach:

– In the elevator my wife encounters two men with some kind of automotive bags, and asks what they do. She’s told they insure high-end, exotic cars. “Would you insure my Bentley?” I immediately ask. “Only if it’s not your regular daily car,” they politely tell me, “it has to be an antique.”

– We find a beautiful, striking woman leaning on a man who looks as if he’s been run over by a garbage truck, awaiting their car one evening. He is totally unkempt, with tattoos running all over his legs and elsewhere. I tell my wife that he must be a rocker. The next day, while I’m chatting with the assistant hotel manager on other things, she casually mentions that the lead singer from Motley Crue is staying at the hotel. “Is he with a beautiful woman?” I ask. “Yes, that’s his wife,” she reports.

– Overheard at the pool: “Yes, he bought it for $86 million, and sold it this year for $121 million.”

– In the evening, only Bentleys and Rolls Royces are parked immediately in front of the main doors. The largest Rolls I have ever seen dwarfs everything else around. It is a monster, and looks like a King Tiger tank.

– Overheard at lunch, overlooking the ocean: “I was able to build the house for only $5 million, but it’s in southern Utah, and the area probably isn’t for everyone.”

– The entrees at the Flagler Steak House hit $50, and tea at breakfast is $4.50. There are many families with several children at the hotel and in the restaurants.

– My wife chats with a painter touching up our floor and finds that we are all originally from Hudson County, New Jersey. He tells us that his cousin had to sell his restaurant in Point Pleasant, at the Jersey shore, but would be moving to Palm Beach. “Did he sell for a fortune?” we ask. “No,” he replies, he barely broke even. But a month later he bought a $20 lottery ticket and won a million bucks.”

Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. But we ought to strive to control the one that we can.

© Alan Weiss 2008. All rights reserved.

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