PALM BEACH Florida – Entertainment – Meandering throughout Florida in mid-winter both its temperate climate and its sun drenched cities continually amaze with their sense of place, on a map, and their proclivity for stories made more polished un a re-telling. For one never knows who, or what, may address a voyageur’s diary in a day.
Stopping for lunch near Halfway Creek, one afternoon, at the Oyster House their mini gallery put a focus on photos and sculptures of virtually every sort of wild animal one might find in the region. Including those one might not readily acquaint living inside the wilting heat outside. These included fox squirrels, tree squirrels, foxes, black bears, the famous Florida panther, white tailed deer, and their bucks with good size antlers, along with the obvious: lizards, creepers, snakes and crawlers.
They also featured wall exhibits of some of the quite famous who’ve paused to dine there. And because of our family’s lifelong amazement with the career of Elizabeth Taylor, and the Welsh coal miner’s son everyone linked with Liz: Richard Burton; I was magnetized, and awed, by the Oyster House displays.
Casually studying the albums, and memorabilia, after hearing patrons advising of whose foot prints had taken the same steps to enjoy the dining atmosphere there; at last a charming signature of hers was inked on a page posted not too far from the dining table we had reserved. The ‘ her’ in this story was truly actress Elizabeth Taylor who was photographed, in a black and white, holding an orchid in l955.
It took me back to a time when I flew from Alberta to Vancouver. The journalist, in the seat beside me, worked for the Montreal a Gazette. As a shrouded sky began clearing outside our plane window setting up one of most beautiful views of the Rockies at that altitude, he was telling of memorable subjects he’d covered over decades.
A subject that related directly to this Oyster House museum was a time when he’d covered the wedding of Taylor and Burton. After all the glitter and hoopla, the most indelible piece of his story that hovered through time was when he said, “I have only once–and never since–been in the presence of such a star lit Beauty who had the most beautiful complexion. The most beautiful skin I have ever seen.”
At that point he produced he had in an envelope in his sports coat pocket. It was Liz. Dazzling. Attractively vibrant. Like the stories to be woven into the future of Liz’s career where ever she was held in time by a photographer’s Art.
As with the Florida keep sake print –that surprised me finding out she’d spent time there. With her casual innocence, and a smile so homespun it was really uncanny. However, As I was standing there several patrons, waking by in leaving, did pause for a moment where one said to one another, “Wonder who he’s looking at?”