Wednesday, November 6, 2013
On October 18th my father-in-law Dr. Ruben Arango passed away. He was a husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, son, professor, author, friend and a world traveler. I say all these things so that we might understand how many people he touched during his 75 years of life. I know this sounds cliché but the honest truth was that Mags, the Girls, Maria and I were all profoundly touched by everyone's love and support during these tough times. It certainly reminded me of how important family and friends are. I prepared and read the following at his funeral. For those who knew him I hope some part helps to remind you of Ruben. Later I'll post a poem that his friend wrote. Thank you.
Doctor, Papi, Gordi, Vroom, Tio, Rubencito, Professor, and Ruben. These are just some of the names Dr. Ruben Arango went by.
On behalf of the Arango Family I want to thank everyone for coming out today. I know Ruben would have been pleased to see so many of his current and former students finally showing up on time.
There’s such a mix of faces hear today from Ruben’s life that I’m reminded of a conversation I had with him years ago after being introduced to yet another person who knew him in some form or fashion. In exhaustion I commented to him, “You know Ruben… if you aren’t related to half of Miami you’re certainly best friends with the other half.” He loved that fact and he certainly would have appreciated you all coming here today.
I know that each and every one of you was touched by Ruben in some positive way. Students seeking knowledge of the past, family members requiring some sage advice or a daughter just trying to figure out how “Fulanity” was somehow related to the “Arango’s” or “Duquesne’s”. I knew Ruben as a doting father, a faithful husband, a loving grandfather, a highly respected colleague, a beloved professor, a new best friend to all strangers and a second father to me.
On Sunday I was in his home office helping to locate some papers. As I sat down in his chair I realized that describing for you the contents of his office might help us all learn a little more about Ruben before we say our final good bye. What I’m going to list is either on his desk, hanging on his wall or in a cabinet or closet.
· Papers, papers and more papers.
· Dog earned yellow legal pads with the hand written names of every Holy Roman Emperor, Romanov or the battle of “de no se quein”
· A coffee cup with the Arango crest and a framed Arango family tree.
· A portrait of Ruben and his mother, father and brother.
· A Christmas picture of Victoria at 4 months sitting on his knee.
· A bright eyed close up of Katherine at her baptism
· A collection of Teddy bears for Natalie
· An eclectic array of neckties dating back to the 1960’s
· A Miami Book Fair entry pass entitled “Ruben Arango – Author”
· The grandest collection of tiny pill boxes
· An antique bottle of Anis from the Santaballa family
· An American flag and a gold cross
· A wedding invitation dated August 7, 1998
· A embroidered handkerchief from a Cuban patriot
· A book entitled “La Sacarocracia”
· A plaque from St. Thomas University dated December 10, 2011 commemorating “31 year of outstanding service and dedication”. Now 33 years.
· A membership certificate for Maria Christina’s admittance into the Daughters of the American Revolution and a copy of the Order of Cincinnati.
· A portrait taken of Ruben and Mary Christina while aboard the Queen Mary II
· Two laptops, two printers, a typewriter and a flat screen tv complete with a set of antenna rabbit ears just in case I assume.
· A two wheeled collapsible “carito” used to haul everything from groceries to text books.
· A rocking chair with plenty of pillows for his back
· A sleeper sofa because he never believed in buying a sofa without a bed.
· Trinkets from every place he ever visited.
· A stuffed quail lamp and a painting of a race horse named “Never Say Die”
· The annual zodiac guide for Virgo’s
· A miniature Rosetta Stone
· A martini glass
· A letter from the King of Spain
· Handfuls of blue Papermate pens
· Books, books and more books. Books by Plato, St. Thomas Aquinas, Raul Shelton, Shakespeare, Cicero, Chaucer, Livy, Cervantes, Ruben Dario, Jose Marti. The Anuario de Familias Cubanas, Emily Post’s Etiquette, The Giant Book of Insults and the History of… well you fill in the blank. He read them all.
· And lastly… the heavy scent of Guerlain men’s cologne
Know that when you walk out of here today and return to your work, studies and families Ruben is already walking, talking, lecturing, entertaining and writing in heaven. No worries. He’ll be waiting for us, ready to touch our lives again in the special way he touched us all down here.
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Ok. I'll be the first to admit that either i'm just a lousy fisherman or somebody put the bad mojo on the Rhum Brave. It's been way too long since I caught anything worth eating or bragging about on this blog. In fact it's gotten to the point where Mags pre-order's the dolphin filets from Key Largo Fisheries whenever I hit the high seas. Well folks... two weeks ago the fishing love returned! Vic and I took the Rhum Brave out of her new home port (Kawama) for a morning of fishing. The plan was to blind slow troll since the seas were not good for drift fishing (and I have to find the live bait spots). We trolled three lines; two rigged ballyhoo with light colored skirts and a red/black bullet headed lure. The morning started slowly until we hit the 450 foot depth mark then whizzzz went the starboard line. The fish dove down and the drag sang her sweet song. I asked Vic to clear the other lines and she jumped on the task like an old pro. Mind you up to this point we've only fished together while anchored in the bay. All those Florida Sportsman fishing shows I've made the kids watch really paid off. She cleared the lines and manned the GoPro while I worked the fish back. After a several minutes the fish was close enough to haul in. At first it looked like either a barracuda (bad) or a kingfish (better). As the fish broke the surface I realized that it was a wahoo (best) and a career first for me and the Rhum Brave. At first Vic was sure it was a sailfish but when she saw the wahoo she yelled "What the heck is that?" I was praying to the All Mighty that I could land this 17 pound bad boy into the boat. It's been a while since I've had a win and this was sweet. Vic and I were high fiving each other while hooping and hollering like a couple of fishing fools. Later on we hauled in a nice 25 inch mahi mahi. This was a good day and Mags did not have to take that walk of shame to the old fishmonger. I've made a video of the trip.
Monday, April 29, 2013
We got a new toy last week. A GoPro Hero 3. The snorkeling conditions were less than perfect but everyone had a good time. There will be more (and better shot) videos as we get out more on the water. Kawama is rented for the next several weeks but we'll be out there again towards the second half of May. Congrats to Jose on his new boat. May you have many fun hours boating, fishing and cleaning. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yd5x0WIFnc
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
No recent posts? What gives! This winter we've only gone out several times on the boat. As it happens eventually to most boaters, we needed to call for a tow back to the dock. It seems that my two-stroke oil pump kicked the bucket. My mechanic called it a "solid piece of rust". These things happen after 10 years and he was also able to replace the tachometer (that died last summer) and perform the 100 hour service. Mags and I made it out to No Name Harbor in Key Biscayne two weeks ago and everything ran great.
Our place in Key Largo has exceeded our expectations. We've had the place rented for a majority of the Winter and even started taking bookings for November of this year and February of next year. We blocked out July and most of August so we can really enjoy the place uninterrupted. I don't know if we've been lucky but things with the tenants have been smooth and people seem to be happy (and not wanting to leave the Keys). Of course the wife deserves all the credit for coming up with this grand idea.
Now for some cool news. I just ordered the GoPro Hero3 Black Edition and started using the Adobe Premiere 11 video editing program. Why cool? Get ready for some killer underwater action and videos of our time on the water. The GoPro is not here yet but I've already completed my first video of our place in Kawama. I'm going to try and post it on the blog but if it does not work then go to YouTube. http://youtu.be/MviZuQqaxD0
Sunday, January 6, 2013
2012 was a busy year for us in many respects but not for adventures aboard the Rhum Brave. We made some excursions early in the year but once June rolled around and we closed on our place in Kawama the old girl just sat. Sad but we were making a significant investment in future adventures. As the year closed we stayed close to home with only one quick business trip to Tampa where the girls got to see a one-legged whale (Winter from Dolphin Tale) and another day trip for stone crabs in Everglades City. The Rhum Brave is back in Miami where she got a total cleaning and waxing. Weather permitting we'll be out over the next several weekends. The Kawama unit is rented until the end of March so we're back to launching from Matheson Hammock. I've already promised the girls a boat camping trip to Elliot Key in early February. I still need to add some posts about our August trip to Alaska. The reality is there's so many great pictures that I'll take some time to post. Looking forward to 2013 I've come up with only one resolution… "Get out and do Moore" Catchy right? Mags is puking right now. Ok. Enough for now.
Monday, December 3, 2012
Ok. It's about time you got to see some pictures of the new place. We're really proud of how she looks but know it's time to put the gal out on the street and start earning. We have her listed with Vacation Rental By Owner (www.VRBO.com #446303) and have already gotten a ton of calls. And that's with the pictures that don't do her justice. My listing is pretty simple because I have yet to even tell people how great the area is for snorkeling, diving, fishing, etc.
We still have to buy one more coffee table and a couple lamps but that just gives Mags a excuse to head over to Ikea (mmmm... sticky buns!). Having rented before we think we understand what people want and deserve when they come down to the Keys. The place is huge and there's so much to do. We have the golf cart and all the little sea toys. The appliances are all new and so is the furniture. We are 100% confident that the reviews on the unit will be great.
Monday, November 19, 2012
I'm not going to try and make excuses or rationalize why I've not posted in over 6 months but I'll just say that it's been one busy year. It all started on November 1, 2011 when I drove into the parking lot of my employers corporate offices and immediately noticed all sorts of people sitting in their car, standing outside frantically talking on their cell phones or sucking down large drags of their cigarettes. Oh oh. "Something's up", I immediately said to myself. Sure enough as I walked into the building I ran into the number 3 guy at the bank and he informed me that we were being bought by another much larger bank. Awesome! Basically we went from the being stuck on the Titanic to being be rescued by the QE2. Later this year the bank was finally absorbed and I landed safely in my new position ready to put this Great Recession behind me and start working productively again. Honestly I have the love of my wife and kids to thank for keeping me sane during these past several years.
While waiting for the sale to close I started doing some long overdue work on the Rhum Brave. In summary I replaced all my lighting (most of which was shot) with new LED lights that burn brighter and use less energy. Not to mention fully sealed and much more corrosion resistant. I next worked on a new stereo system, canvas t-top and managed to fill every ding, dent and crack. As of today I still have a speedometer and faulty trim tab switch to replace. I'll finish up the last of the improvements and move the boat down to her new home. Wait. What new home? Ah… now comes the bigger news.
We bought a place in Key Largo. It's a three story townhouse in a larger complex called Kawama Yacht Club. It's located at mile marker 101 on the Oceanside. Oceanside is the local lingo for being on the Southside of the island with immediate access to the Atlantic Ocean (versus being on the Bayside with access to Florida Bay). This has been a dream of ours ever since Mags was a teenage hanging out in the Keys with her high school buddies and when I first came to the Keys in the summer of 1990. Throughout the 2000's we spent many vacations and numerous daytrips downs to the Keys and inevitably we looked at the properties for sale. Of course from 2000 to 2007 the prices reached astronomical levels which were well beyond our means. Finally the bottom fell out of the market after 2007 and we watched as prices sailed south. Well last year as we vacationed at Buttonwood Bay the desire to finally find something affordable hit a boiling point. As I remember it we were on the balcony watching the last of the sun disappear over the horizon and it was either the rum or sun but Mags says "I don't know where, I don't how and I don't know when but we're getting a place in the Keys." I not sure how I first responded but here we are today. We closed in June and today we have a fully furnished 3 bed/3 bath townhouse ready to fish! Of course I have several folks to thank (you know who you are Dad and Papi). Pictures will be posted shortly.
There was one more great thing this year. For the first time since I was 11 years old the entire Moore clan including wives, husbands and grandkids took a vacation together. Not Mexico this time. Mom and Dad took the whole family for a 10-day cruise to Alaska. That trip obviously deserves a whole string of posts and pictures. Simply amazing is the best way to describe Alaska. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Saturday, April 21, 2012
Ok. Bucket List item #78 has been officially checked off. We went to go see Valen Halen play with David Lee Roth. No BS, no drama just pure rock n roll. Understand that I never got a chance to see Diamond Dave play with the Van Halen. Because they broke up in 1985 when I was still in junior high (and yes I had several "VH" buttons.). Kool and the Gang opened the show and we were joined by several good friends. The band played all the early classics and several songs from their new album. At the early age of 57 Diamond Dave belted it out and managed to a few classic leaps. The best was when he reamed out the stage handlers for blasting cold air on the stage. I thought it was a gag at first. Eddie played Eruption like a madman and Alex cranked on the drums. Wolfgang was a bad ass on the bass. What a great time.
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Mags and I completed our Basic Keelboat sailing lesson at the Coconut Grove Sailing Club. I was unable to post a video here but we've got it posted on YouTube. It's only one minute long but I'll remember this for a lifetime.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grqhlBjVm9g&feature=channel