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Grandson's dance leads to reflection on shadows

Published Sep. 16, 2005

I wondered what had stopped my 16-month-old grandson, Reid, in his tracks Wednesday evening. He's a dancer, pausing every now and then to twist, Chubby Checkers-style, or rock back and forth clapping to some music in his head. Now he was standing in the damp sand and was going through an extensive routine.

Then I realized he was shadow boxing. It was early enough in the morning that the sun was casting long shadows on the beach, and he was testing his. He would wave his arms and his shadow would, too. He would put his hands on his hips and twist and it would, too. It could also clap.

He soon gave up and went on to something else, but I pondered a long time how difficult things like shadows and reflections in mirrors must be to understand when you first encounter them. Reflections are dealt with early on, and dogs and kids are hilarious when they discover them. But what is one to think of a shadow that disappears when the sun is overhead and makes one grow from 2 to 5 feet tall in the mornings and evenings?

Some time ago, in response to a column I wrote about painting, Henry Doyle of Pinellas Park wrote with some helpful hints, i.e., a strong beige will cover any dark color nicely and then white will cover the beige, allowing you to cover the area in just two coats when otherwise it might take three.

Anyway, Mr. Doyle had a cute story to tell: About 1959, his brother, Roy, bought a house in Charleston, S.C., "as is." The qualifying phrase was because the ceiling light in the living room didn't work and the previous owner hadn't the skill to rewire nor the extra money to hire an electrician. Table lamps had sufficed for several years, but he felt like he was selling "damaged goods" without the center light.

After brother Roy bought the house, he solved the problem by changing the light bulb.

More Downtown Core news: Tuesday, Marie Sterling, owner of the Bayboro Inn and Hunt Room Bed and Breakfast at 357 Third St. S, will host a picnic and discussion session for residents and property owners in the Bayboro Village neighborhood and Downtown Core Group members. Crime watch, neighborhood cleanup and goals of the neighborhood will be discussed beginning at 5:30 p.m.

"This is a starting place," Mrs. Sterling said. "I have been working with law enforcement to clean up certain undesirable situations in the neighborhood. We have a lot of people down here who are trying to make this a really nice neighborhood."

Thursday, St. Petersburg Museum of History director Sam Bond will speak to the Downtown Core Group and other downtown merchants on the part ethnic groups have played in the city's history, as prelude to the museum's upcoming exhibit, "Who Are We?: Cultural and Ethnic Heritage of the People of Pinellas." This is at 6:30 p.m.

Ms. Sun Mary Wyatt Allen is just back from the Cherry Festival in Traverse City, Mich., which was delayed this year because of unseasonably cold weather. With her on the trip were Suncoasters president Beth Houghton, her husband, Scott, and their son, Michael, and Sun Goddess Tiffany Thompson.

"The weather was delightful and it was a happy, wonderful festival," Ms. Allen said. "They have more involvement from the community and involve more segments of the community. And all the politicians walked in the parade, a la Lawton Chiles."

P.S. They had almost enough cherries; had to import just a few from Washington.

Hey, let's Shake, Rattle and Roll, Rock Around the Clock and throw in a little See Ya' Later, Alligator. Billy Moore will host Nostalgia Night on Thursday at Tierra Verde Resort Concert Hall (former Guy Lombardo hangout) with Bill Haley's Original Comets. "They're real showmen," Moore said, adding that the group's performance last year was a sellout. Cost is $20, time is 8:30 p.m.

While we're talking about Billy Moore, he apologizes that his annual Christmas in July Toy Shop benefit happens Aug. 10 this year.

This will be especially important as it's the Christmas Toy Shop's 75th anniversary. The party begins at 7 p.m. with a cash bar for "Frosty Hour," Belinda Womack and the Kool Reflektions and a silent auction. Turkey, ham, cranberries and lumpy mashed potatoes just like home will be served buffet style at 8. WTSP Ch. 10's Pat Minarcin will be host for the evening. Moore said just 200 of the $25 tickets are being sold, so call Tina Douglass, 367-3451, or Johnny Green, 864-4198.

The 27th Pinellas Association for Retarded Children Black Tie event happens Nov. 23 with a theme of "Lost in the Stars." It will be in the plaza of the Florida Power building on 34th Street S, where it took place _ when? Twenty-five years ago? Anyway, there will be dining and dancing under the stars, and co-chairwomen Betsy Owens and Shirley Insoft have already reconnoitered out there and determined that even if it should rain, and it won't, there's plenty, plenty of room under the overhangs. Starting at 6:30, the evening will bring a live and silent auction, "with some really stupendous things," Ms. Owens said. "Things that no one else has had."

Look for your invitation right after Labor Day, and if you don't get one, call PARC.