Dishing with Mark and Carrie September 4, 2014

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Nephew of the Week: Levi Yarborough

Energetic and crazy fun are just two ways to describe Levi. A native of Florida, Levi works three jobs. His fun weekend job is bartending for Florida Entertainment. Be sure to stop by one of the clubs and meet Levi this weekend.

You Just Can’t Make This Stuff Up!

In the late 1980s, I was working as a real estate broker/salesperson in South Tampa. One day a call came into the office. The person owned a house close to the prestigious Palma Ceia Country Club. I went to meet with the owners to get a listing.  It was an upper-end listing for the time. Then I recognized the person: he was the retired owner of a local company. We were joking about his company, Tampa happenings in general, and laughing. Just as I was leaving, he stopped me and dropped an unexpected bomb.

He looked me straight in the eyes and in a very serious voice said, “Just so we are clear. If you bring a n—-r to this home I will not open the door and pull the listing. I will not allow a n—-r to live next to my neighbors.”

WOW. I didn’t say a word but thought, “What about a f-g then?”

Back at the office we all talked it over and decided to cross that bridge when and if it happened. The next week there was a showing of the property. It was an elderly white country club member with her interior decorator. They loved it and made an offer the next day. She then sent over her black handyman to inspect the house. You could cut the tension in the air with a knife. The closing for the property was held at another Country Club members title office.

I had told her to bring a certified check to the closing. At the closing Mrs. New Home Buyer showed up with a small personal checkbook with kitty cats on the checks. I asked her where the certified check was and she smiled and said that she was way too busy to get one.

The owner of the title company just smiled and said, “That will be fine.” That was the first six-figure check I had ever seen on a small personal check. The company owner and his wife retired to a beach home.

WOW, what a look at racism and old money in Tampa.

“Dishing” Travels:  Vernon Vineyards in Viroqua, Wisconsin

dishing-c0py-1We were recently invited to, and we attended, our niece’s wedding in southwestern Wisconsin. The treat was the beautiful wedding, but the ambient surprise was the green-treed rolling hills and a 17 acre manicured vineyard. Near the Wisconsin, Chippewa and Mississippi Rivers, the luscious green rolling hills are really breathtaking and a number of vineyards surround the estate. Thirty-two vineyards are all located near each other in the same county on the sunny hilly slopes and vast deep valleys.

Our lovely niece, Dea, and new handsome husband, Ross, had a most beautiful wedding with their spiritual vows spoken amongst the lined vines of ripening grapes. A banquet hall was set up in a huge barn loft and a large number of roaming mules were fenced outside. All my brothers, sisters, family and friends were in total awe of the special outdoor occasion.

This is one of those picturesque locations that is a beautiful fall getaway spot. The vineyard has a newly-built large tasting room serving a wide variety of its cold climate-grown grape wine. Red, white, blush and port-like wines are available. We tasted a wide variety of the vine ripened ecstasies with the very friendly owners, giving our personal taste opinions and likings of their hard labors. Delicious and savory!

And of course in Wisconsin, you have to have locally-made cheeses to complement the aged fermented grapes’ nectar.

This is a really inspiring escape in the Tri-State area of Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. They sell a variety of wines in cases and half-cases. Right now they can only ship within Wisconsin but a new national distributor will soon be handling the vineyards wine sales nationwide.

Vernon Vineyards is a great Midwest getaway.