Friday, January 22, 2010

Weekend in Sarasota

Statue of John RinglingOn Friday, January 15 we headed for Sarasota. We wanted to see our friends, famed chimpanzee trainers and presenters, Rudi and Sue Lenz, be inducted into the Sarasota Circus Ring of Fame.

As usual we stopped for lunch at Gary's Flaming Cafe in Chipley. But for the last time. It was closed and the place had been emptied out. Gone.

We continued to head east and had lunch a few miles down Interstate 10 at Po' Folks in Marianna. We drove as far as Gainesville and spent the night there at a favorite Holiday Inn Express and ate at the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store next door. It was a day of country-style road food. The day's drive was 335 miles (539 km.).

We had a short drive Saturday, just 170 miles (274 km.) to a Holiday Inn Express in Bradenton. We had plenty of time to clean up and drive down to the Hilton Longboat Key for a reception and dinner honoring Sue and Rudi Lenz and other Circus Ring of Fame 2010 inductees hosted by noted entertainment consultant and circus producer William B. Hall.

The room was full of the top circus stars around. Much of the conversation was about the stormy weather we were having and the predictions for Sunday afternoon. That's when the induction ceremony would take place -- outdoors on St. Armands Circle.

Later in the evening, at the height of a violent rain and lightning storm we drove through flooded streets to the Showfolks of Sarasota clubhouse to visit with circus friends.

Columbia Restaurant, St. Armand's Circle, SarasotaAs for the weather on Sunday, the storm had passed by earlier than predicted. The sky was blue and the sun was warm. Perfect weather for the ceremony. Before the induction we met with Michael Newton-Brown for lunch at the Columbia Restaurant at a table next to the sidewalk. Sue and Rudi walked by and we all had a chat.

Rudi Lenz and Michael Newton-Brown
Rudi Lenz and Michael Newton-Brown

Jack Ryan and Sue Lenz
Jack Ryan and Sue Lenz

Here's a link to some photos of Sue and Rudi at the ceremony.

The Circus Ring of Fame for Sue and Rudi LenzFor details and photos of the Circus Ring of Fame Ceremony on January 17, 2010 click here.

Here's information about this year's honorees.

To learn more about the Circus Ring of Fame and its history click here.


Anonymous said...

Well, since nobody else will comment on it, I will. We had a GREAT time!

Jack Ryan said...

I made that comment under my own name, Jack Ryan. Not sure what happened.