South Florida Hospital News
Tuesday February 25, 2020

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April 2019 - Volume 15 - Issue 10




Publisher's Note

Travels with "Charley and the Blonde"

Normally I wouldn’t dare utter a blonde joke around Carol — since we all know (and accept) she’s the real brains of the outfit! However, we just took a much-needed vacation to the Panama Canal and I can honestly say I thought I was cruising with the original dizzy blonde. Like many very intelligent people (I have no idea what that feels like), Carol is like a walking encyclopedia, dictionary and thesaurus, except for a few total blanks … and included in those blank brain cells is a basic understanding of engineering and how things work mechanically (picture a telephone, a mechanical tool, and especially the much renowned lock system of the Panama Canal).

And it wasn’t for a lack of trying, I can honestly say since we went through the locks twice and even got to watch an oncoming Panamax ship for extra visual reinforcement. But she just couldn’t understand why the ship wasn’t resting on the bottom of the cement lock or how or why there were locks at different levels. I knew we were in trouble when she kept wondering why they couldn’t just build another Suez Canal in Panama. In her words, “Why go to all the trouble of locks, when they could just use a bulldozer?” After an hour of trying to explain about the Panamanian climate’s effect on the land and the difference between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, I gave up.
But the final blow came when the ship’s Expedition Navigator started explaining about the fact that when going thru the Canal, east is west and west is east. Well, out of everyone (and I mean everyone in the Felix family), Carol is the ONLY one who can actually navigate using the sun and when asked for directions gives them using east, west, north and south as opposed to right and left. Imagine her consternation and inability to understand how that could possible happen.
So in some ways it was a relief to finish traversing the Canal and get back to our lounge chairs, books, magazines, cribbage board, and buffets. It’s one of the few times I felt vindicated in saying, “Don’t worry your pretty little head about it!”

You can reach Charles Felix at

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