Tuesday, May 31, 2011



At 6:45 on Friday, May 26, 2011, I had a wine party for the "Friday Night Dining-Out Group." About 15 people showed up.

I had gotten lots of wine, nuts and olives; I cleaned and straightened the house; I put chairs in the newly spruced-up side yard and even made my bed.

Everyone had a lot of fun.

I had put my iPhone in the Tom Cruise cabinet playing, "Ole Time Rock & Roll" next to his "Risky Business" dance outfit, which surprised and intrigued people.

At 7:45 we all adjourned to go to the Broadkill Boathouse for dinner.
They had set up on the outside deck as it was a beautiful evening.

Everyone was pleased at how good the food was. They really have fixed the place up.

I'm certain we'll return.

Sunday, May 29, 2011



I, Don Voth, started a list of famous people I've met or seen through the years. Thinking you might find it interesting, I decided to blog it. (The italicized ones I met or at least had eye contact with.)

1948:  When PRESIDENT HARRY S. TRUMAN was running for re-election, he was campaigning in his presidential stretch '39 Lincoln V-12 in a motorcade in Oklahoma City. 

He didn't see me and I thought he should. So, I yelled at him and he turned around and waved at me! I was seven.

1952:  Shook hands with JIMMY STEWART at the National Air Show in Oklahoma City.

1956:  Talked to and shook hands with FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT at an Oklahoma University Architecture School lecture. I was in high school.

1962:  At my graduation from Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, DEAN RUSK, Kennedy's Secretary of State, was the keynote speaker and shook my hand as I received my diploma.

1965:  Shook hands with ARCHITECT MIES VAN DER ROHE on a tour of Chicago with my OU Architecture School senior class.

1966:  Saw 'Unsinkable Molly Brown' with TAMMY GRIMES.

1966:  During the filming of 'Throughly Modern Mille', I saw JULIE ANDREWS decend a brownstone's staircase in NYC.

1968:  Went to a White House lawn reception for my cousin, QUEEN ELIZABETH II. Asked FIRST LADY 'LADY BIRD' JOHNSON to pose for a photograph. It was excellent—I sent it to her. (I never heard from her!)

1969:  Saw BETTE MIDLER singing, with BARRY MANILOW playing the piano, in a New York City cabaret.

1970:  I saw STARKWEATHER  in a state penitentiary while doing Technical Assistance for Nebraska. 

1970:  ME on the cover of 'Time' magazine regarding the popularity of ship cruising. 
Albeit I appeared very tiny because shown was the entire deck of the ship with about 600 people! Talked to PRINCE EGON VON FURSTENBERG.

Next, More to come.

Friday, May 27, 2011



I've never done yoga. So, when Jeanie Greenhaugh
offered a six-week course, I jumped at the chance.

It's being taught at her home for six-weeks of Monday nights for 1 1/2 hours each.

Maria Abbruzzi is the excellent instructor. She expertly guides you with a soft voice.

I was leery at first, but soon fell into the work. It was exciting and exhilarating—loosening up my joints and relaxing my nerves.
Ted's not a very willing participator, but he's getting into it. 
(It hurts his hips, but the instructor is working on ameliorating that.)

All-in-all, I think I like it. Jeanie's offering a meditation yoga soon. I'm definitely going to take that!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011



            ...was a project that  updated the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World concept with a modern list of wonders. A popularity poll was led by Canadian-Swiss Bernard Weber and organized by the Swiss-based, government-controlled New7Wonders Foundation, with winners announced on July 7, 2007 in Lisbon. It was the largest poll in history ever taken with over 100 million votes.

The 'New' list...

And they added an additional one from the 'Ancient' list...

My goal is the see all '8'.
I've seen FOUR!
How many have you seen?

Next, The FOUR.


There's also the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)'s 911 WORLD HERITAGE SITES with 704 cultural, 180 natural, and 27 mixed properties.

Of that list, 45 are in Italy—the most of any country. I've seen fourteen: Venice, Florence, San Gimignano, Pisa, Rome, The Vatican, Santa Maria della Grazie in Milan, Ferrara, Ravenna, Amalfi Coast, Tivoli, Assisi, Verona and Siena.

In the United States there are 21. I've seen twelve of those: Yellowstone, Everglades, Grand Canyon, Independence Hall, Great Smokies, Redwoods, San Juan, Olympic Peninsula, Carlsbad Caverns,  Monticello, Taos Pueblo and the Statue of Liberty.

I've seen thirty-seven additional sites around the world.

I'm so fortunate!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

CAR CRAZY SAGA -My Continental(s)- 7:

My Continental(s)

                       Don Voth


Friday, May 20, 2011



WAS SMASHING! We had a whirlwind weekend.

The winnings included a three-night stay at a hotel. We chose the Hyde Park Hotel in Knightsbridge. It's a lovely old hotel with lots of charm and in the middle of everything.

Our siteseeing included the Tate, Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London

together with the crown jewels,

Westminster Abbey and, of course, lots of shopping including Harrods.

  ---All together a wonderful visit, albeit too short.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011



Our whole group took Giuliano Fiorenzoli to lunch. On the way, I began to talk with Edwina, a very pretty blond Parsons' student from Denver. I spoke of my Missoni experience. We shared discoveries about how clothes can transform one's feeling about oneself. Then she said, "l'd love to dress you." I was surprised and didn't quite understand what she was saying. "I was thinking about it in Firenze," she continued, "and worked out an outfit for you.” I was really surprised and delighted, and I explained to her that I'd never been interested in clothes before" I asked her how she'd dress me. “In white linen pleated pants, an apricot/peach solid-color shirt and a jacket of soft weave in muted colors, mostly whites.” WOW!

Lunch was super. We had lots of vino and generally had a wonderful time: toasts and lots of laughing, singing and thanking of Giuliano. After finishing his first course, someone asked him what he was going to eat for his second plate. He said, "I don't know. Whatever happens, happens."

I said, "He eats like he designs his house", which broke everyone up. Giuliano was really delightful and spontaneous. I found it intriguing because I feel I have to be so organized. (I later thought about that a long time and decided I didn't have to be so organized. I decided I should allow myself to be more spontaneous.) After lunch, Fernanda, Gary and I went shopping. Somehow, I ended up with ‘Hat Pat's’ turkey feather fan. We were all a little tipsy and had great fun brandishing the large fan. It was hilarious!
Pendergast 1884
We walked and walked and walked and finally, had to run to get to the afternoon lecture on time. The lecturer was only fair—supposedly on Milianese design in general; but he explained only his own, only fair, work.

Home to soak in the tub and change into my see-through rainbow Missoni shirt for the farewell party at their hotel. Everyone was dressed up. Pat, under an extra-large hat, came up to me and gave me a pretty Chinese split-bamboo fan in green and golds in exchange for her turkey feather one. Ninety percent of the group went off to dinner together! If you remember, Massimo had invited me for dinner that last night, but with so many people going it turned me off to the idea, besides I was trying not to eat too much!

Marie, Wendy and I started to take a boat to the Lido, but at the last minute I decided not to go and just walked around for awhile. Then I went to bed. I was getting depressed about the ending of the course and the thought of the group not being together anymore.

I got up early, did some errands and stopped off at Missoni. 
It was such a pleasant experience just being in the Missoni store among all the delightful designs. I had noticed a beautiful multi-colored wool tie in the window and decided to buy it for Ed. The saleslady brought me a tie, but I thought the tie in the window was slightly different and more colorful than the tie she handed me. I went outside to compare the two. A lady strolling by, pointed to the tie in the window and said, "Molto bello." That did it. I knew I had to have that very one. The saleslady in the store said, again, that it was the same tie. I had her crawl into the window to get it and sure enough, it was the same. I helped her move the furniture back, a little embarrassed; the saleslady was very gracious about it.

Since Marie had felt so bad about disparaging my foreign language skills back in Firenze, she now insisted on taking me to lunch. She and a girl friend, who had also stayed in Venezia after the group left, decided to take me to Burano, the lace-making island. 
After a delightful hour-long boat ride, we docked at a very colorful group of buildings. It seems the local people traditionally paint each of their houses a different, very vivid color. More postcards! We had lunch at a place called the Gatto Nero (black cat), mainly because I liked the name. 
It had an outdoor eating area and very good, fresh fish. Not much people-watching possible, as Burano is a very under-populated island. I tried to pay for my lunch, but Marie absolutely insisted. What a very pleasant afternoon.

At dawn the next day, I decided to go back to my beloved Firenze. Before I left for the train station, I went into the courtyard for my breakfast, and who should I see but Edwina. She had transferred to the Flora yesterday because of my recommendation. 

We had a nice visit. She read my journal from the day before and remarked that it inspired her to write. She got a kick about the part of her 'dressing me'. Off to the train via the slow vaporetto that makes all the stops along the way—a last view of Venezia. Then onto the rapido train, Marco Polo, bound for Firenze.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011



This restaurant just opened, May 16, 2011. It's on Highway 16 where the Ocean Blue Restaurant used to be.

I had low expectations since all the predecessors were not-so-good places to eat. But Bay Leaf pleasantly surprised me.

First of all, they redecorated to a fare-thee-well—much needed.
The lighting is so much better.

Moe, the owner, comes from the very fancy "Michelle's" in Dover. That's promising.

Don't let the plastic menus turn you off, the food is good. Dishes ranging from Pastas to Caprese Salad to Veal Limone are served at lunch and dinner. They're also open for a hearty breakfast. Drew and I had an excellent breakfast the next morning.

Ted and I each had a Club Sandwich and VERY delicious Tiramisu for dessert!

Prices are very moderate. Hours are 7 - 11. Open 7 days a week.

  ---A nice addition to Milton's ever growing good restaurant trade.

I wish them Good Luck!

                ...Your friendly reviewer, Don Voth

Sunday, May 15, 2011


ED CROWLEY (1948-1988)

Ed was a very special guy. He delighted most people with his enthusiasm and invention.
Ed at his pharmaceutical representative car.
Ed in his corner home office.
Ed and Liza.
I first met Ed at a party at my own house. He was an affable, neat person. After knowing him for many months, we decided he would move into my house. That started a long relationship that lasted 15 years.
Ed taking Chinese cooking classes.
We became great traveling buddies: Egypt, Chichen Itza, the United States, Machu Picchu, Mexico, London and Italy (three times). What great times we had together.
In Hawaii.
Karnak, Egypt.
We wanted to go to India, but illness canceled that. Ed died of AIDS in 1988. He shall be forever fondly remembered and loved.

Saturday, May 14, 2011



Now we were off to see Palladio's works, with me organizing the mechanics of our trip (vaporetto routes, directions, time allowances and breaks). San Giorgio Maggiore (1566-1610) is one of the most conspicuous churches in Venezia. It stands at the entrance to Venezia on a separate island facing St. Mark's Square. 
Canaletto 1742. partial.
Francesco Guardi, 1780
I didn't think I liked Palladian architecture, but the church was delightful. Of course, Giuliano Fiorenzola's explanations helped open my eyes to its charms. Normally, we would sit in a group around Giuliano for a typically long 'philosophical'—the eternal heart-felt talk. So, when we got to the front steps, we all sat down. 

(What follows is my synthesis of what Giuliano said. I wrote this in my journal the next morning at breakfast, therefore it is less effusive and theoretical, more organized and logical, but still conveys the heart-felt quality of Giuliano's lecture.)

For Palladio, you must put yourself in his time, place and context, for if you don't, he's simply lines on paper or lines in space and rather boring. But realizing the history of Venezia (e.g. protectionism, decoration purely for effect, the trappings of power, etc.) and the time-setting of the 15th Century—at Venezia's zenith of power, with the city expanding, etc.), sets the stage for Palladio. San Giorgio Maggiore is on one of the most magnificent sites in the world
—on another island facing Piazza SaMarco. It was the first major church not built on the main island. During the entire time Roman basilicas were being converted to Christian churches, their façades were not Roman, but were designed in the current style of the era. Palladio on the other hand based his façade on the classical Roman style, using gigantic orders—an impressive result. Even from as far away as the Piazza San Marco is, the church is an imposing sight. 
The interiors were not as important to Palladio. (Just as in most of Venezia, the façade is the important thing.) Even though, the interior of San Giorgio Maggiore is much better than I expected. 
Then Giuliano explained that the interior is really a Florentine derivative (there he went again!) which, of course, explained it??! Even Palladio's famous villas have their exteriors as their major aspect. They are jewels of three dimensional effects, while the insides are very simple—usually a corridor with four rooms.
This was

  ---all One Point!

There were several others just as elaborately drawn, but stated here more simply: Palladio placed great importance on the orientation of his buildings, views, and façades; how the façade is made up of not only the building but also of the plaza in front; his intellectualism as displayed in his buildings; and many other things including his fantastic details and complicated expansion of the orders...
Giuliano asked us if we wanted to see an exhibit of the Venetian paintings by the artist Canaletto that was at the adjoining monastery. I wasn't too interested, because I'd never heard of him, and I wanted to see more architecture. The group decided to view the exhibit. His paintings were magnificent. Most of them were enormous canvases of Venezia during her most powerful time—all painted in incredible detail. 
Canaletto 1747
We then went on to another island to see another Palladio church—Il Rendentore.
It was fancier, but neither as direct, nor as finely detailed as San Giorgio Maggiore, and also the interior was not as well detailed. We didn't make it to the next building due to the closing time, naturally. So, I bought a vino for the group at a viniaio. We sat on the bank looking across to San Marco. It was a grey day, yet beautiful. At my suggestion, we took the long way back: around Venezia by vaporetto. And then at Giuliano’s suggestion, we got off early and walked back to the hotel.

Next, Last Venezia Days.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011



We had a Sunday brunch at Marilyn's. It was a delightful day with great friends. Jeanie sent me this fun video cartoon of the event. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011



The launch of the iPhone took the industry by storm. Up to then no phone had been so beautiful, so comprehensive and so dramatically useful. 

Steve Jobs is quoted as saying, "We like results that make our hearts sing." And the iPhone does just that.

The iPhone brought us the invention of the "app". Now, there are over 700,000 apps available, phenomenally surpassing everyone in the industry. "THERE'S AN APP FOR THAT," is a common phrase. People love their iPhones. 
It's become an international sensation.

The fourth iteration of the phone is called the iPhone 4—a leap in technology, sophistication and delight.

I've enjoyed teaching the iPhone thoroughly to five people and casually to many more. 
Me enjoying teaching the iPhone!
Its usefulness and lore are traveling.