The winter in Cleveland was very cold and snowy in 1975.
We just came home from a night on the town, and Mort tried to put his key in the front door lock, but it was iced over.
He grabbed The Plain Dealer, which was under the mat, and luckily had a match in his pocket. He burned the newspaper to melt the ice so he could unlock the door.
As soon as we were inside, we said, “Let’s get out our Florida file.”
We had started the file a few years before since someday we planned to move to the warm weather.
“You better study for the Florida State Optometry Board,” I said. Mort wasn’t ready to retire at 48. He graduated from Ohio State University in 1951 and after 25 years, studying again was quite a determination. But he passed the state board in 1976.
We were boaters and spent weekends on our boat, Eye Spy, at Cedar Point on Lake Erie.
At first, we were going to sell the boat, but we decided it would be an adventure to sail to Florida.
It was September 1979. We contacted two boating couples, each of whom accompanied us half-way.
We started the voyage from Cedar Point, then sailed east to Buffalo, where we entered the Erie Barge Canal. It took us several days to go through the 33 locks and descend from 564 feet to 49 feet above sea level, to the Hudson River near Albany.
Sailing down the Hudson was beautiful. We passed FDR’s home, West Point and Sing Sing prison.
In the New York harbor, we cruised past the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.We cruised down the Intracoastal; our voyage took 22 days. We sailed right into the dock at the Eden Roc condos, where we bought a three-bedroom, 2½-bath unit on the Intracoastal in Sunny Isles — for $79,000.
Collins Avenue back then was a string of motels. Now, it’s a string of high-rises. The Thunderbird is still here — we go there for great dining and dancing.
We loved the Rascal House, which sadly is gone. Our kids water skied on Maule Lake near the Bay.
We are very lucky to have all our children near us. Our two daughters settled here and our son moved here shortly after we arrived.
Today Mort is 81 and I’m 79. Mort had a wake-up call in 1972, had a heart attack and by-pass heart surgery.
This prompted him to start a healthcare program, which includes diet, nutrition, exercise and stress management. We do not take drugs, feel great and go dancing EVERY night.
We join other couples and call our group, “Do Ya Wanna Dance?”