Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Rehoboth Beach, DE.

Deo, Ted, Mary Ann and I went to this restaurant to celebrate Deo's new iPad and my helping her get oriented on it.

It's delightful, always enjoyable.

We each had delicious dishes. It was prix fixe night and we ordered an appetizer, main and dessert. Ted had octopus! I had buffalo mozzarella. Deo and Ted had lamb ragout for their main. Mary Ann had the flatiron steak. And I ordered the duck—tasty.

Desserts included creme brûlée and heavenly caramel-peach bread pudding.

But the piece d'resistance was the special coffees made right at the table. In a sugared and cinnamon-ed glass, liquors are flamed then topped with coffee. What an entertaining treat!
 Altogether a first class restaurant.

   ---Don Voth, Your Friendly Reviewer.

Saturday, September 24, 2011



1982:  Emmy Award-winning actor ANTHONY ZERBE (Harry-O, The Matrix series) came to my house for cocktails with his wonderful wife Arnette. 

She and I had become great friends during my Italian study tour. Their daughter, Jenny, was debuting with the American Ballet Company at the Kennedy Center. So they had come from Santa Barbara for the performance. Afterward, Jenny and several of the troupe including PRIMA BALLERINA ASSOLUTA CYNTHIA GREGORY joined us for dinner. 

Unfortunately, though invited, Mikhail Barisnikoff couldn't make it.

1984:  Sat next to FRED BARNS, commentator, on an airplane. 
He barely even looked at me, let alone speak.

1984:  Was sweeping my front walk when I noticed a black car and two men in black suits standing in front of the house two doors down. Soon FIRST LADY NANCY REAGAN descended down the front stairs after seeing her astrologer! 
Happened to see the car twice more.

1984:  Met CHRIS WALLACE on the bus going to the Pyramids of Egypt. 
We spoke briefly; he was on vacation.

1986:  Saw KATHERINE HEPBURN and CHRISTOPHER REEVE in "A Matter of Gravity" on Broadway.

1986:  Saw MAGGIE SMITH in "The Infernal Machine," a nondescript play in London—We went just to see Ms. Smith.

1987:  KELLY McGILLIS sat down next to me in 'Hair', a salon on Capitol Hill. 
She was appearing at the Folger Shakespeare Theater. She graciously signed 12 "Top Gun" pieces.

1988:  I was looking out my window when PRESIDENT AND MRS. CLINTON passed by in their motorcade after their inaugural ball at DC's Union Station.

1991:  While touring Hollywood, I was sightseeing at Tom Cruise's home when I heard NICOLE KIDMAN behind the walls of their compound calling her dog to come inside.

1993:  At the Palm Springs Film Festival, I saw TONY CURTIS (who was there for an award), JANET LEIGH and JAMIE LEE CURTIS. Then DELTA BURKE, dressed all in white including a floor length white fur, got out of a new stretch, white Rolls-Royce with her husband, GERALD RAINER

1995:  My next-door neighbor was CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS, political writer/commentator (Vanity Fair, etc.).


Thursday, September 22, 2011



I got a new iMac. WOW! It is superb.

Ted's hard drive on his iMac went kapooey. He decided to get a new iMac instead of fix the old one. I helped him pick it out. I got so excited about the specs of the new Macintosh that I ordered one for myself!

It's Screen is 22 1/2", 2 inches larger than my old one. This allows for a perfect 1920 X 1080 pixel, 6 by 9 ratio, HD Screen. It has the new Intel Quad-Core Processor, the i5. Boy, is it fast! Additionally, we each added to the Ram Memory to make them speedy 12GB Systems. It has a 500GB Hard Drive and Radeon's accelerated HD Graphics Card.

It sports a Trackpad instead of a Mouse, allowing many hand gestures. I'm learning quickly the various movements. Together with the small Keyboard, it offers a small footprint, but with a large Screen.

With Lion, the new operating system, OS X10, installed, it's a whizz, and a most enjoyable experience.

I sold my old, fairly new iMac to Lee and Steve, who have gotten my last three Macs! They were so pleased.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011



During the weekend of September 15-18, 2011, the Lambda Car Club, Straight Eights Region had a spectacular car show in Rehoboth Beach.

There were about sixty automobiles of all ages and description—from a 1924 Franklin
with a special passenger

to my car, the 2006 Cadillac XLR.

A very special car was the fantastic 1957 Continental Mark II ! I had an almost identical one in the 90s.
In fact it won the top prize: Best Luxury Car! What a beauty. Made me nostalgic.

Many other nice old cars were there,

including a very special 1949 Hudson Commodore, which won a prize in its age category.

Even the seagulls enjoyed the show.

A 1955 and a 1953 Cadillac.

A lovely 1960 Lincoln Continental Mark V.

That evening we had the Awards Banquet. There were over 100 people.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

CAR CRAZY SAGA -My Continental(s)- 11:


In 1991, I was searching high and low for my Mark. I traveled to four different states.

Bill and I went to Port Washington, Pennsylvania to see an advertised white Continental Mark II. Michael, the dealer, was waiting for us. It was my first drive of a Mark II. She handled strangely, not responding very quickly nor braking comfortably. As Bill said later, I drove her like a little old lady. (I don't know if he meant the car or me!) But she was very big and I was very nervous, especially with Michael at my right elbow giving continuous instructions. There were things not working: A/C, interior lights, two windows, emblems missing, etc. (This supposedly perfect! car.) I talked Michael down to $25,000. from $35,000. including repair of the known problems. There was another Mark in the back, in extremely bad condition: rusty, a missing fender, upholstery a mess. He was asking $15,000. for it and explained that it was Chubby Checkers! A '57 black one, out front, was in great shape, but it was $45,000! I said I'd think about the white one. Driving home I told Bill I was discouraged.

I went to many car shows looking at Continentals, when they were available. And after researching the mechanicals, history and reliability of the car, I decided I would definitely get one. 

One detail I especially liked was the "nostril." The breathing port over the rear quarter panel that allowed fresh air into the air-conditioning unit that was in the trunk. 
The vents were in the ceiling, one for each passenger. It was only on the 1956 cars and only, of course, those with the optional air-conditioning. (The only other option was  fur floor board covering!) So, I decided I wanted an air-conditioned 1956.

In the duPont Registry magazine there was a large, intriguing ad. I asked for pictures and a history of the car. The air-conditioned 1956 was in Portland, Oregon.

I called all the ads in Hemmings magazine: New York, Illinois, Florida and California.

The one in Decatur, Illinois was intriguing. A Jim Benton has had 232 Mark IIs pass through his hands! When they first came out in 1956 he bought 15 for his dealership.  He was very personable and full of information. He had two maroon ones under restoration for $40,000 each. He'd send me pictures.

Next week he called me to say he was thinking of buying a white Mark II in Missouri that originally belonged to Mamie Eisenhower! 

Was I possibly interested? Yes, I was. Three days later he was able to buy it, though with difficulty. I asked him to let me have first refusal. He agreed. The next Friday, he took delivery. The next day, I was in Decatur.

Jim picked me up in a pristine 1987 Rolls-Royce Wraith. The nicest man you'd ever want to meet. As we turned into the driveway of the dealership, there were five Mark IIs lined up in a row. My heart did a double leap. 

The middle car was the Eisenhower one. I was a little shocked because she was not snow-white as I had imagined her, but tan-white. It was in fairly bad condition. It would be $40,000 after being restored. "Mamie," my name for the Eisenhower car, he considered to be like new!

Jim's major business is a limousine dealership of mainly XKEs and Cadillacs. He also had two new Rolls-Royce Cornishes for sale. His passion and side business, though, is collecting and selling Continental Mark IIs. He declared that, "they are the most beautiful car ever made in America."

"In the world!" I exclaimed.

Jim explained more about the Eisenhower connection: Ford leased the car to President and Mrs. Eisenhower for their use at the Gettysburg Farm. 

I talked to him about liking neither the exterior tan color nor the brown upholstery. Jim talked to me about painting it deep blue and dying the brown leather blue. He said, "it would be your car to do with what you wanted." With that possibility and the fact that it was Eisenhower connected, I bought it !
I said I would call in a week with the decision about changing the color. I gave him a check for $40,000. I was so excited! My own Continental Mark II ! I flew home with great joy.

After having discussed the car color with several club members who were horrified at the idea of changing a presidential car's color, I decided to leave it the tan-white.

Next, My Continental(s) Continues.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Milton, DE - 2

I turned the upstairs into a separate, two-bedroom apartment.

When I moved in, the garden on the second lot was a dog run. I removed a foot of the earth, brought in fresh topsoil, bermed it and created a magnificent garden—the first large one I've ever had. I went all out: hiring landscape architects, providing underground irrigation, planting large trees and establishing turf. It's been a marvelous experience.

In 1988, I acquired Tom Cruise's dance outfit from his movie, "RISKY BUSINESS!" It was an eBay auction from a museum in Hollywood that went out of business. All pieces were in perfect condition: The shorts, underwear and socks. The socks had dirty marks on the bottoms and the underwear had make-up stains. I had it stored for many years, but when I moved to 105, there was the perfect place for it: a corner cabinet in the dining room. The original owner had housed a sewing machine and a china closet. I turned it into a shrine to Tom. I went on  the internet and found the shortest mannequin from the Netherlands—others were too tall. Mark and I painted the Styrofoam form silver and it was perfect. People are amazed and often have their photo taken with it.

All-in-all, 105 has been a great residence. I wouldn't change my situation for the moon.

It has been on the Milton Christmas Historical House Tour once and on the Milton Garden Tour twice.

Next, 211 MUNSON STREET, Rehoboth Beach