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    GREATMARTIN   41,984
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7 DECADES SERIES BY THE NUMBERS ENDING THE 1980S 19A

Monday, November 26, 2012


A lot happened to me in the 1980s and I can probably sum it up in numbers and statistics.

CAR : red Caprice Chevy convertible--bought for $2,500 in 1981--sold it in 2004--total cost for car including buying price, alarm, 3 steering wheel columns replaced due to theft, rentals while car being fixed, repairs, new interior and new paint job every 3 years, etc. TOTAL COST FOR 23 YEARS $42, 685.10 and worth every penny! (Yes I still have every bill--don't ask me why!) The car was stolen 4 times in all including the day I went to Haulover Beach, a nude beach, mostly by kids ripping open the steering wheel column to get the motor going and driving it until it ran out of gas.

DEATHS: Uncountable number due to AIDS--too many--plus Flo 1982, Sue 1986, Dr. K 1987, Joe 1980, Mother 1980, Phylis 1989, Ritchie 1988

APARTMENTS: It is NOT true that when my place gets dirty I move but it seems I did live an average of 5 years at a place from my teens until I was in my 60s. In 1979 I moved to Fort Lauderdale and lived on Riverside Drive til the late 80s and then moved to 44th Street off Sunrise Boulevard.

"A CHORUS LINE" : 53 times total between NYC, Memphis, St. Louis, Jupiter, Sunrise, Miami

TRIPS : Bill and I to Memphis and St. Louis 1982, By myself to Key West 1984, Michael and I to Jamaica April 16, 1984, Albyn and I Epcot April 21, 1985, John, Ed and I (see pictures above) Key West September 18-20, 1989 and we stopped at the Quays for lunch on the way down. Me & others--read previous posts--to NYC 1983, 1985 and 1988

RESTAURANTS (Eating out) In the 1980s I ate out in over 500 rrestaurants with my favorites being Victoria Station, Casa Vecchia, The Charcoal Pit, The Golden Spike, Gibby's, The Spiced Apple, Acapulco's and Dan Dowd's, which are all closed now. Of the remaining restaurants maybe 10 are still open like Catfish Dewey's, Old Florida Seafood House, Carlos & Pepe's, Chuck's Steak House and 15th Street Fisheries. The turnover of restaurants is unbelievable but being a tourist city I guess that's to be expected.

GAY BARS : Even more than restaurants the turnover of bars, whether gay or not, is in itself astounding. From upscale bars like The Sandpiper, which became Jimmy January's, The Rooftop or neighborhood bars like Lefty's and The Tunnel Bar to dance bars like the Copa, Backstreet or Zelda's and raunchy bars like Boots, or like Chardees which was referred to as the 'wrinkle room' due to the age of the clientele, all, at one or another, were so popular you usually had to wait on line to get into them. Today they are all gone---maybe because I stopped drinking and going to them? LOL

LEAP YEARS : There were 3 Leap Years in the 1980s--1980 when I was 11 and celebrated at The Sandpiper, 1984 when I was 12 which celebrated at La Vielle Mason, Bobby Rubino's and at Michael's house plus 1988 when at the age of 13 I gave a big party at The Golden Spike--all written about in previous blogs.

WRITING : I did a lot of writing during the '80s , averaging between 6-9 pages a day. I wrote a book about Bernie and me called "The Looks of Love", another book about Bill and me, "For What We Had" plus I was writing a weekly column for The Weekly News and doing dining out reviews for a local magazine called OUT! Started a book named "And The Oscar Goes to..." which I referred to as my Jacqueline Suzanne/Harold Robins pot boiler. started a book called "Mike and Me" and another one "The Free Prisoner" which I worked on for many years before it was finally published.

WORK: I have already mentioned about the many jobs I had upon my return to Fort Lauderdale. I didn't know if I could handle going from being a boss and owner of a business to being a waiter and I found I could easily as I loved being a waiter, always did. I did spend the 1980s going from one job to another, in some cases quitting and in others being fired plus 3 of the restaurants closed without warning, owing me money! Some of the restaurants I worked in were: Incredible Edibles, Wag's, Dan Dowd's, Holiday Inn State Road 84, Holiday Inn State Road 7, Picolo Cafe, Fisherman's Wharf which closed and became the Brickyard West which also closed. I worked in my one and only gay bar, The Rooftop. which was a very elegant restaurant and bar and someday will write a blog about working in gay bars. I am sure I am forgetting a job here and there but waiters are known to play the field going from job tojob. At most restaurants there are a couple of servers who have been there for years while the others come and go. For awhile I was the 'come and go' waiter.

P.S. All the above restaurants have closed--was it me????? LOL
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TENNISJIM 11/27/2012 6:23AM

    Thank you for sharing

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GREATMARTIN 11/26/2012 10:52PM

    If I had an extra copy I would send it to you but I only have 1 left--the library should have it or you can probably get it for a couple of dollars on amazon.com-- that's where old books go!! :O)

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2ABBYNORMAL 11/26/2012 10:20PM

    Your story of the 80s is amazing. I found it very interesting and entertaining. I'm wondering if the book you wrote "The Free Prisoner" is fictional or memoir and since it was published, maybe I can locate it at the library?
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