Fort Lauderdale is to Pompano Beach as Cadillac is to Ford.

Fort Lauderdale has location, money, reputation, retirees. The boulevards are a little bigger, the canals a little deeper, the yachts a little bigger, the bling a little brighter, the stories much much more full of deception.

Pompano Beach seems more comfortable, more downscale, more livable. Pompano Beach seems like an old pair of beach shoes that fit your feet perfect, don’t care if sand gets on them, and fit on the floor of your car like they were made to be there.

At Sand Harbor there is an ancient hotel that retains the charm of the fifties, a bar and restaurant that serves great fish sandwiches, plus a  nice view of the Intra-coastal Waterway.

After lunch Ruth and I walk the beach and it reminds me why half the east coast moved to Florida and stayed. Ruth moved her 90 year old mom down from New York into a second floor condo above her as she explained it to me when we met on a plane flight to Newark when I was coming back from Columbia and she was going to New York to load her mom up, sell her house, and move her south for her retirement. When you take someone’s phone number it takes you all kinds of places. 

It is a slightly cool afternoon and at the little snack bar are folks gathering to chat, have coffee, eat, lounge under palm trees and be glad they don’t have to work.

Pompano Beach, on this afternoon, is one of those old fashioned postcard shots that tells everyone you are in Florida and having a great time, and eat your heart out.

The bond between mothers and daughters is sometimes tenuous, more often tough and durable.

Love and duty are inextricably linked.

Tomorrow,I leave Florida’s water world for the sand, cactus, and dry of New Mexico.

You stay in Florida too long, you start to get webbed feet.



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