The Motor Vessel "Once Around"

The Motor Vessel "Once Around"
The Motor Vessel "Once Around" in the Florida Keys

Friday, March 23, 2012

Clutzee the Clown and Vivian

We had a one night stop over last Friday at the City Marina in New Smyrna Beach , Florida.  The town was close by, so the crew of Moonstruck and we walked there for dinner.  Our first choice, Malloney’s Pub was over-full, so we walked a block back to Jason’s Grill and had an excellent meal and bottle of wine. 
We returned to Malloney’s after dinner, because we had been told they usually had some live music and were not disappointed when we entered and heard a trio with a great female lead singer.  Doug from Moonstruck says he loves little tiny neighborhood bars that support local musicians.  He said if it were up to him, he would exempt such places from all taxes provided they had fewer than fifty seats.  The tax free status would allow them to pay the local musicians a decent wage, and provide locals with lots of choices for excellent entertainment.  Not a bad plan…
Tax exemption or not, the folks in this bar appeared to be having a great time, and the music was wonderful.  But, the surprise of the night came when a little four year old girl stopped by our booth.  Doug had gotten up, and she slid into his spot like she owned the place.  We looked around to see if her parents were watching but saw no sign of concern on any of the patron’s faces.
Judy and Vivian

For the next half-hour or so we were entertained by the sparkling personality of four year old Vivian.  At first she seemed a bit precocious.  But as we talked to her, we realized she was just a very intelligent and highly confident little gal.  We learned a lot about her and found out that the vocalist was her piano teacher.  Vivian’s parents did drop by our booth and make sure she wasn’t bothering us.  Quite the opposite, we were all enthralled by her conversation.
Judy, who admitted to us that she was a professional clown (named Clutzee) in a prior life, seemed to have an immediate connection with Vivian.  Whether that was because of her clown experience, or just because Judy loves kids, we’ll never know.  But, when Vivian asked her if she would like to be her grandmother for the night, Vivian owned her!  The "grandma" in my first mate kicked in as well, and Doug and I enjoyed listening to the three girls chatter.
At one point Vivian discovered a set of eyeglasses on the wall that the restaurant keeps for us old folks who might need help reading the menu.  We all had to take a turn with them.  The photos below of Vivian and Judy were taken by Carrie.  The ones of the rest of us were taken by Vivian.

We didn't ask this guy to play...

After the photo shoot, we ordered a couple of slices of traditional carrot cake.  At that point, Vivian produced another little gal (Ruby, age 3) who was more than happy to sit down and split one of our slices with Vivian.  She was another cutie, and a little closer to the “normal” personality of a kid that age.  Both of them were a lot of fun, and both disappeared as soon as the slice of cake was gone!
The Loop is all about the people you meet.  But, whoda thunk the highlight of our visit to New Smyrna Beach would be a meeting a child prodigy named Vivian? 

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