Friday, January 14, 2005

Another Rainy Friday

It began raining about an hour ago. I was at the Coffee Plantation finishing a cup of coffee after helping David to disassemble the computer system in the Key West Five and Dime. The store closed just after New Year's Day, and the owner, Joe, who lives in Atlanta declared bankruptcy in an attempt to get out from under the debt that Jennifer left him with when they divorced. David still lives in the apartment next door to the store and has a new job working the front desk at a guest house on White St. He's helping Joe out by packing everything that's left. They sold off some of the more touristy, souvenir items to a gift shop on Duval St. for pennies on the dollar. What's left is mostly worthless: household products, toiletries, notions, and knickknacks, some store fixtures, and the computer that ran the point-of-sale in the store. Joe listed some of the stuff in the bankruptcy assets filing, among them the computer system. Joe has a ready buyer for it, but can't do anything until he gets a go-ahead from the courts. I'm told that the system cost over $4,000 to put in, but could be duplicated today for around $1500.

I backed up the critical data on the computer before taking it apart, and showed David how to separate the basic computer items from the point-of-sale pieces: a cash drawer, receipt and label printers, a credit card swipe attachment. I think that Joe could get more for those pieces alone than he could expect for the computer.

Anyway, as I was saying, it began raining about an hour ago, one of those tropical downpours we don't get very often here in the winter. As I look at the national weather infrared map, I can see that the front is long, covers the entire east coast up into Canada and down into the Caribbean, but narrow, which could mean that it will pass quickly.

I left the Plantation on my bicycle as soon as the rain began, abandoning the idea I had of checking our box at the Post Office and made it home as it began raining harder. The phone rang. It was Little Boy calling to check in, and to let me know that he might be coming down with the flu that seems to be going around lately. We got together for an hour on Tuesday afternoon, but didn't talk about his studies for the GED. He's been pretty focused on his music lately, as I said a couple of posts back. The new band, Biscuits and Gravy, with Jersey Slim and the G-Man on harmonicas and drums respectively, will back LB on the keyboard, and a guitar if they decide to include one, has its first gig out at Geiger Key on the 22nd. LB is also talking about another band forming up that he may join if and when this one gets going well. He's also spending more time with his classical teacher, Yehuda Guttman. Yehuda is a quiet legend in this town. Now well up in age, he still teaches a little. A few years ago, we attended a recital put on by several of his students called, as I remember it, Three Little Girls and a Little Boy. It was inspiring to see these four young people, all about 10 or 11 at the time, perform with the skill of professionals. Yehuda was piano coach to Van Cliburn before he won the First International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1958, at the height of the Cold War. He is the one encouraging Little Boy to apply to Julliard School, which is why we're working on the GED that he'll need to be admitted there.

More later. It's time to have some lunch.

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