Miami Beach "Ciro's"

Living in Miami Beach was literally entertaining for my parents'.  My father owned one of he   first Miami Beach nightclubs;  "Ciros,"  during the 1940's and 1950's.

He was portrayed as the Jewish nightclub owner in the movie "Dorothy Dandridge," as he was the first to introduce her on Miami Beach. 

I am proud of you Dad.  You were a visionary. By the way, Ciro's (not to be confused with the Los Angeles club), was said to be a favorite Walter Winchell hangout.

While I was too young to remember,  Nat King Cole, Martha Raye, and others were guests at our home on Nautilus Court.  Part of the Ciro's bar was constructed on our patio, and there was a constant buzz of activity going on day and night in our home. 

Pilar Pillete and John Wayne Wikepedia
Part of the family in those days included Richard "Dick" Weldy; who was married to Pilar Pallete, a former Peruvian actress and third wife of the film star John Wayne.   Weldy was a mainstay at our home, as my father had business in Lima, Peru, and met Weldy there initially. 

 Weldy had a bit of notoriety, he appeared on "To Tell The Truth" sharing his story as a big game hunter in the Amazon.  His other claim to fame:  he worked as a Disney artist and was responsible for the Dragon segment in the film "Fantasia."

Funny thing is, I can remember him at our home with a huge anaconda snake, named Shirley, which he used to put into our bath tub!  I recall being horrified as a child.  Apparently, their skins need water.  So, while visiting with us, the snake was lolling about in our tub!

With all his stories of bravery in the Amazon, he admittedly was frightened of cockroaches.  Florida was a haven for those creatures.  I found it funny that here was this man, dressed up in his khaki garb, with knee high leather boots and a hat, afraid of cockroaches!

Go figure.

Dick Weldy was like a second father to me.  He was present for every major event in my life-including:  high school graduation, my wedding, and unfortunately;  as a guest in my home when I separated from my husband.

Dad also took a shot in the "B" film industry.   My sister, Diane, had a big part in one of his unmemorable films.  Her line?  "They went thataway."  

I have a picture that captures the filming.   Seated in that picture, with my father and my Uncle, was Dick Weldy.  Those pictures still hang in my home, along with a vintage picture of my parents in Havana, Cuba circa 1940 at "Sloppy Joe's."

I was too young to remember meeting any of the celebrities, but I loved hearing Dick share his Amazon and celebrity stories with me.

My brother, Joey, was lucky enough to get him to make a presentation at Nautilus Jr. High School, while he was a student there.

We all have our favorite family stories, I just had to share this one with you.

By the way, I hate cockroaches too.

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