The Mayor of Donovan's Reef.
Tuesday, we were saddened to learn that a long-time friend of ours on this annual trip to North Florida had died.
We had run into him every year at Donovan's Reef, across from the Driftwood Lodge where we stay here in Panama City Beach. Most every night he would be there, sitting at his favorite spot on the southwest corner of the bar, essentially "holding court" to all his local and vacationing friends.
His name was Gary (we never did find out his last name) and he was retired from Ford Motor Company in Detroit. That one opening bit they did on the "Cheers" TV show always reminded me of him. It was where a guy comes into the bar and says he hadn't been there for twenty or so years and that the place looks the same, except they had moved the juke box from behind where Norm was sitting.
Well, that was Gary.
He knew us also. We were the folks from Donovan's Reef North in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin.
And, he always had to have that one particular seat on the affording him a look down the length of it. If someone was in it when he came in (almost always during the evening), he would get a seat as close as possible and then bide his time, moving continually closer until he had that seat.
Sure Going to Miss Him and Our Talks. --RoadDog