If this is your first visit, welcome to Musings. If you have been here before, welcome back. Over time we are going to talk about many things: the past, the present, perhaps the future, travel, art, society and more. Wherever my musing takes me. I hope you will come along with me.
1990 was a year of change. I was living in San Francisco, struggling financially, paying for a city apartment while carrying a mortgage on a house in Long Beach that I was trying to sell. Furthermore, I was not happy with my job.
Out of the blue a friend phoned all excited. He was someone I had worked with prior to transferring to San Francisco.
“I’m going to Florida. I got a great job with Barnett Banks Trust Company. They are expanding their sales team.”
He went on for some time sharing his impressions of Barnett and his expectations. Plus he loved Florida. They were great guys. What an opportunity! Etc.
As I said, I was not happy with my situation and as we concluded our conversation, I remarked
“Well if they are looking for more people tell them you know someone who will talk with them and give them my name.”
And that is what happened. About a week later I received a call and was invited out to Jacksonville for an interview. The president of the Barnett Banks Trust Company had previously worked for First Interstate Bancorp, the system in which I was now employed. By the time I was in Jacksonville he had called his contacts and knew a great deal about my track record. He had pretty much decided to hire me sight unseen. I, however, knew very little about Barnett and spent most of my time asking about their practices and performance. Later one of the department heads said,
“This is the first time I remember a potential hire interviewing me”.
A week later I got a job offer. I could pick my territory, anywhere in the state; they would move us and pay for temporary housing; the starting salary was greater than the one in California; and Florida has no income tax.
Wow! That was a no brainer.
I told my wife,
“J, this looks pretty good. I think we have to seriously consider moving to Florida.”
And she became angry, crying and yelling, not wanting to go to Florida. She and I knew nothing really about Florida, it’s towns, it’s amenities.
If you have not been to Florida, especially if you are from the western part of the country, you probably know very little about Florida and what you do know is negative. Its humid; there are cockroaches as large as your thumb; there are hurricanes; mosquitos; alligators; oil spills; old people; they cannot run a proper election; the kids go wild on Spring Break; and the greatest cultural achievement is Disney World. That is the type of thing you hear about out west. Very little is said about the nice aspects of Florida because the news does not report nice things.
It is really not different in the east. If you have never been to California what do you know about it? Earthquakes, illegal immigrants, fires, mudslides, traffic congestion, smog, etc.
So today I thought I would show you parts of the West Palm Beach neighborhood in which we live. We think it is pretty nice.
The area is referred to as SOSO, South of Southern. It is the area along the Intracoastal Waterway that extends south of Southern Boulevard to the city limits. East of the Intracoastal Waterway is the Town of Palm Beach.
Here you can see the waterway. I am told you can go from Florida to New Jersey by boat using the Intracoastal Waterway and never go into the ocean. In the distance is a draw bridge. That is Southern Boulevard.
Our area is residential. It is not gated. Parts of it date to the 1920’s.
Because the Intracoastal Waterway defines the eastern boundary of the neighborhood there is very little traffic. People who live here drive here, but people from other areas seldom do. There is nowhere to go. That creates a small town ambiance. Notice no traffic.
My neighbor’s boys often play in the street. They play baseball, skateboard, ramp jumping and ride motorized scooters. (By the way, the skateboard drives my dogs into a frenzy.) People walk their dogs down our street and along the waterway. There are people fishing from the sea wall and the Southern Bridge and joggers and cyclists everyday. Still there is very little traffic on the street.
Many people living along the waterway have a private dock for their boat.
The neighborhood is mixed. We have homes from the 1920’s
and homes built in the last five years
Some of the homes are modest and some are quite impressive.
This one, under construction, is going to raise the bar. This is at the end of our street. The attention to detail is impressive.
Notice the siding. That is all stucco. It looks like wood but it is cement.
Here is the street on which we live, looking west with the Intracoastal Waterway behind us. The vacant lot on the left is the same size as the lot on which the house on the right is being built. Notice no sidewalks. That is common with about half of the streets in the area.
All being said this is a nice place in which to live.
More to come
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