It's cold and gloomy, and for those of us that can't find the sun right now, here's a bit of frivolity written many years ago.
     The three Grande Dames stood side by side; the grandeur of yesteryear only slightly tarnished. The Fontainebleu, The Soverign, and the Shawnee, the Queens of Collins Ave., Millionaires Row, Miami Beach, Florida.  The gilt, the glitter, almost gone with the turn of the century.  Lady Luck loves Collins Avenue, and these Queens are still on a roll.
     Enter their opulent, cavernous lobbies and the flash of diiamonds, gold, and Rolex timepieces blind the eye.  Don't trip over the multitude of Louis Vuitton suitcases.
     Look!  Madonna just scurried into the elevator, and Whitney and her crew are up in the Tower Penthouse filming the Bodyguard.  That guy can't be Sly Stalone, he's too short!
     Let's have a drink.  The temperature is over 90 degrees. I love Miami heat, especially in January.  Where shall we go?
     I always preferred the Fountainebleu.  So does Madonna, Whitney, and Sly.  The marble, and the chandeliers, so vulgar in their beauty, never fail to get to me.  I love the snacks at the bar. Oh, I'm sorry, you prefer caviar and Dom  Perignon?  I'll have Stoly and Oysters.  Don't you like sushi snacks, anymore?
     As we sit and watch our fellow guests flit by in their designer attire, I become bored.
     The sky suddenly becomes gray. I can see from the window wall in the bar that everyone on the beach is seeking shelter from the unexpected storm.  How quickly the rain turns the sun worshipers plans awry.
     The Atlantic seems angry.  The glistening white sand isn't pretty, now.  The wind is starting to blow.  The cruise ships on the horizon are moving closer together.  I feel the need to go down to the ocean and I excuse myself to my companions.
     Somehow I feel exhilarated contemplating my "participation" in the storm.  The wind is blowing very hard and I sit beside a small sailboat for protection.  Only the foolish or hardy would brave the beach at this time.  I'm alone.  I'm wet.
     I look at the grande dames from the beach.  Their size phenomenal, even from the rear.  I never cease to be amazed by the fortress-like invincibility that they seem to exude.  Life everlasting, it seems, for these Queens, outlasting multitudes of hurricanes and the depression.
     I remember hearing that the Shawnee was recently bought by a large hotel chain. Another face lift for this doll. And the Soverign, I notice from the rear, empty! No occupancy.  Deserted in the storm.  I'm fascinated.  I can almost hear shouts of glee from the deserted pool.  Eerily open patio doors and once flashy hotel furniture on the decks and balconies.  Heavy wet drapes with palm tree and flamingo motif beat against stucco and glass.  The rain and wind continue.  The palm trees sway and their fronds whip furiously to the beat of the wind.
     I think of how many of these grand ladies have fallen prey to the wrecking ball or suffered the ultimate insult of total deterioration, inhabited by cockroaches and dregs of society. The disfavor of Lady Luck fell hard on these poor Queens.
     The storm is over now.  Back to the bar?  Out to the pool?  Too wet for golf.  Tough decisions to make.  Thankfully, Massachusetts is a million miles away, and you can't keep the sun from not shining for too long in South Miami.
     Good luck girls ... see you next year! 
I could almost feel I was there. Beautiful story.