Channeling The Voice

 

 

 

July 30, 16

 

Lake Tahoe has lost none of its allure over the five decades that I’ve circled its sparkling waters. With a shoreline of 72 miles, the California/Nevada state-line jewel still draws tons of visitors to sample its beaches, casinos, lodgings, restaurants, and winter sports. This weekend we saw folks of all ages clad in gear ranging from bikinis to motorcycle leathers soaking up the sunshine and azure skies, even as a mist cloaked the pine-covered Sierras and naked ski trails surrounding its rim. Parents crossed the lake’s boulevards, some pushing toddlers in strollers, others leading them along crowded walkways and streets sloping upwards to cabins, motels and campgrounds, all feeding their need for recreation.

 

Channeling Sinatra

We sought out the now shuttered Cal-Neva Lodge, where I’d met a charming and hospitable Frank Sinatra one long-ago summer. He’d traveled with an entourage then, consisting of Nancy, his first wife, their three children, and his then paramour, Juliet Prowse. We were there at the invitation of his valet, George Jacobs, whose brother, Larry, had just married my sister, Carol. From the moment we arrived, Sinatra treated our party like the celebrities we weren’t.  He embraced Carol and me, kissed her hand, presented each of us with a gold plated cigarette lighter engraved with the Cal-Neva logo, provided cottages for each of us and gave us the run of the place. That evening he set up a special table, front and center, in the lounge where he, and his protégé, Julius LaRosa performed. An unforgettable version of “I’ve got you under my skin,” stole the show.

Incline Village--a first for me 

At Incline Village, we dined at Lupita’s, a restaurant decorated with knotty –pine booths, countertops and ceilings, its signage promising “authentic Mexican” food.

“I think this was a fish house before,” said my astute partner.

“You’re right, “ said I, observing the collection of seashells and posted images of fish. But my Margarita, served in a glass rimmed in dark green, was just like I’d ordered: on the rocks, no salt on the rim. The factory we'd visited a few years back in Puerta Villarta produced an identical glass, so it, at least, was authentic. What made the dining experience even more unique were the authentic Mexican chairs around the larger dining tables. The sight of them transported me back to Sayulita, Mexico, where I’d first fallen in love with these artistic one-of-a-kind chairs. The occasion sparked a trip to the town where they were manufactured by devoted artisans, all male, focused on completing his part of the project to perfection. One worker carved the wooden strips for the chair base; another, using a commercial sewing machine, sewed the leather covering together for the perfect fit and so on. Each appeared happily focused on his assignment.

 

Wisdom gained through living this life helps us negotiate through it as smoothly as our receptors allow. Those of us who arrive with an overdose of ego resist that wisdom, sometimes for years. In a few cases the wisdom never “takes” (like a vaccination with outdated vaccine).  Today’s Lesson: Embrace wisdom.