It’s a December Friday night in the sub-tropics of South Florida. While most of the country is getting frosty with the start of winter, here it’s 72° with a light, cool breeze. The wife is out of town on biz, and I’ve got the Tiki Bar to myself.
So I’m doing an old fashioned MAN’S Night. Yeah, swingers, just like in the ’50s…I’m grilling a giant ole T-bone on the grill, am working on some hobbies in the garage, and have just poured myself a cocktail at the Tiki Bar on the lanai. There’s Miles Davis playing in the background, and the party lights are on. It’s like I’m in the movie Picnic, except Kim Novack ain’t here.
If you put your mind to it, you can live like it’s the atomic age. Here’s my kicks tonight:
Like all collectors of vintage finery, I have a few things that need a little TLC. Case in point: My father’s 1953 Roadmaster Luxury Liner Bicycle. There’s a whole story that goes along with this bike, which I will roll out in a future post. The short version is he had it in the ’50s, gave it to a cousin in Philly in the early ’60s, managed to get it back in the ’70s and restored it. Then it got stolen around 1980…and by some krazy miracle we got it back two weeks later. In the mid-’80s to restored it
myself, and have used it since. A few years ago one of the tires blew out, and it’s been sitting in the garage since. Well, it’s time for a new restoration, and yesterday I fixed the tires and took her for a spin. With that knee-action front suspension, she sure takes the bumps nice. Tonight I’m re-doing the seat with original-style leather. Sure is easier than working on the ’53 Chevy!
1.3 lb T-Bone steak on the charcoal grill, with baked potatoes, chopped spinach and grilled buttered onions on the side. I’ll eat out on the lanai by the pool tonight, under the light of the Tiki Torches. I think I’ll put on some Martin Denny while I dine.
I have a few bottles of liquor from the 1950’s and ’60s, given to me by some very generous kats. Tonight I’m imbibing a 1966 Canadian Club and Ginger Ale on the rocks. I first heard of a CC & Ginger in a Mike Hammer novel…he orders a few through the story, mostly at neighborhood watering holes in Manhattan. I haven’t seen a tap room that looks like it belongs in a Micky Spillane novel in about 20 years…I’m willing to bet dimes to donuts very few still exist, none in the Sunshine State…so I have to make due on my own. Just looking at the bottle makes me feel like I’ve gone back in time 50 years, so I’m in the groove.
When the steak settles and I’m too beat to play with the bike anymore, I’ll settle in with some time with the groove tube, then when I get bored of that I’ll pick out a few tunes on the tenor sax, which I’ve been neglecting the last few nights. Time to crank up the A Train and take a ride into Bluesville.
So that’s my plan for this fine dark. The conversations will be one-sided, or maybe with the parrot or the cat. But that’s oke, I can dig a little time away from the little lady…as long as she’s back tomorrow 😉
-Tiki Chris Pinto, AKA Mack, AKA Zoot