borgata bets

Sometimes in life you come upon a real character. A person so full of life, they seem to splash over, brimful.  I’m not talking about people who are "always on," always trying.  To entertain.  To impress.  But of people who just seem to drip with life.  You see it in their mannerisms, the grand gesture of their arms as they sweep you in.  Upon first meeting, they pull you into a bear hug.  Warm.  And they want to know your whole life, to delight and celebrate lives as they’ve been lived and to toast how they’ll continue.  I love these people, larger than life, with their amplified ways who aren’t afraid to show their tears and wear their heart on both sleeves.

This weekend I was around such a person, a person who donates anonymously, who listens and cares, who’s life of the party and lives his to the fullest.  A guy with a heart of gold.  It’s been a long time since I’ve met such a person, a friend of my father’s, who put us all up at the Borgata, where he appeared to be King.  He didn’t give a shit what people thought of him, as he strut around in his dark suit, an unlit cigar from his mouth, sunglasses at night.  I loved it, not just the way he took in life, but the way he spoke of his own.  "Yeah, I used to load trucks for that guy in the middle of the night."  He reminded me of my grandfather Papoo, a man who didn’t just charm you.  He knew where to get the best scrambled eggs, who made a good waffle.  And he knew, I hope, how much we all appreciated his bringing us together for the weekend. 

My father is still my best friend, but I’m thankful for his friend, for making our time together soar.  I’d bet on him any day.  I’d even double down.



  1. Hey Stephanie,

    This has nothing to do w/ the most recent post, but I wonder if you can ever write about how you felt when you met Phil….sexually…..I read your book and I keep up w/ the blog, so I know you didn't "drop it" w/ him for while….Does that mean you weren't sexually attracted? Were you sexually attracted and just kept it in check? Were you ambivalent? Just wondering. I met a great guy recently, but I'm not feeling all hot, like I usually do w/ the guys that aren't quite as forthcoming, and who are much less emotionally available. Crazy world we live in, I know.

  2. The people who know how to "celebrate lives as they've been lived" are the most enjoyable to be around. What a lovely tribute to your father's friend.

  3. I've always been told I'm one of those people. The one people like to hang with or start rumors about….That's who I am. It's fun to receive a card or note from someone that simply say's "I had fun" or "You made my day".

    It's cool how you interpreted your view of this person. Recently ran across your blog… I'm thinking about buying your book. You are interesting.

    Soon to become a frequent reader……

  4. I was in AC this weekend too. Went to the Borgata yesterday, didn't win but glad you had such a great weekend!!

  5. Beautiful piece of writing Stephanie, just what I needed.
    People like that are so far and few between these days.

    Thanks for sharing

  6. Your first paragraph reminded me of this oft-quoted Jack Kerouac quote:

    "The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars…"

    He sounds lovely… glad you had such a great time!

  7. Wow Stephanie, what an impression I left! It sounds like you met Robert DeNiro in the movie
    Casino. It was a pleasure meeting you and Phil
    in celebration of Black Friday with Carol and your Dad. Your real life zeal is unbelievable. I guess you bring out the best in others. Best of everything to you and your readers, Larry

  8. Sounds like a great weekend. When you got back to the beans, did Abigail react the way she did when you returned from Las Vegas? My parents said that when they went on trips when my siblings and I were very young, my sister, especially, would give them the cold shoulder when they would return. Kids are characters.

  9. The world is full of many colors and I admit that most can be very dull but when someone bright comes along I find it very fascinating how they can shine about all that pales.


  10. What a wonderful addition to your family. Friends of my parents give me the strangest insights, and meeting people who love life remind me that I should be doing the same every day. Winning combination. PS. The pictures of the world's coolest twins are getting better every time I check.

    Hope you're well!

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