As I sit here this morning looking at the Cedar Key Beacon, a Beacon I once viewed daily and rumagaging through the memory box that sits on my shoulders, the days seem so long ago. You see, I found out I lost a dear friend today, she didnt pass away today, nor yesterday but I found out she lost her battle with life four months ago, Connie Raftis, She was My Beacon to Cedar Key.
I met her 20 years ago in Ocala, we lived next door to each other. We quickly became friends and soon I met her family, her Dad, whom I might say, was an extraordinary man! His name was Saltz and I always thought it really did fit him. (if you didnt know how he got the name well all you had to do was just ask just about anyone in Cedar Key). From the moment I met the two of them my life was never the same again. They truly helped me grow as a person as a human being.
After Connie moved to Cedar Key to be with her Dad, I would often exscape to Cedar Key! Just to be with my friend, to laugh, and to seek the laid back life that makes Cedar Key so wonderful. When my own father past away, I ran to Cedar Key, Saltz said; "What took ya so long". When my husband left me for another woman, Connie said; "you don't need him, you have me, and all my cats", and I ran to Cedar key. Where I would get plenty of advice, along with plenty of laughter, plenty of food, plenty of drink. (not necessarily in that order either)
I could always count on the Raftis's for a good stiff drink, plenty of political bantar, good jazz music and some clams and maybe even an honorable mention in the Beacon newpaper come print day, but most importantly a good honest open your eyes talk that I knew I could only get from MY beacon.
I did'nt mean to bore anyone with my rambling, I guess I am still in a little shock from hearing my sad news today. I just felt the need to share my thoughts and to shed some tears in the only place I could think of to share them. To remember a friend that had a laugh that was infectious, a true friend that had a sense of humor like no other person I have ever met. My wonderful memories will remain Connie A Raftis, I will think of you always, until we meet again, You were MY Beacon!