Two long-stemmed roses — one white, one pink — graced the empty stool in its familiar spot in Duffy’s Tavern on Thursday night.
A framed photo sat on the counter.
So did a glass of beer no one touched, save for clinking a bottle or mug to it in respect for the smiling woman in the picture.
Pat Geyer would’ve enjoyed it.
But she was away on family business.
As Polli Stroup, one of Pat’s five daughters, tells it, their dad has been stuck at the Pearly Gates since “Honest Ed” Geyer died last May 30.
So when Pat passed away a week ago Saturday, it took her arrival to vouch for her ol’ man and get them into Heaven together.
Not even St. Peter could deny “Miss Duffy’s” common touch.
Pat Geyer helped a lot of folks in untold ways during her 50 years in the community.
Not just as the boss at Duffy’s since 1971, but for two decades on the Holmes Beach City Commission, including four as mayor.
She straightened out some people who needed it, too, along with a burger and beer on the side.
That’s what we loved about Pat Geyer.
The “matriarch of old Anna Maria Island,” as County Commissioner Carol Whitmore put it.
Many were present Thursday night after the funeral, celebrating Pat’s life along with her daughters and their families.
Pam, Patti, Peggi, Penni and Polli won’t be alone, either, thinking of Pat on this Mother’s Day.
Many of us will do so.
I think about the last St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
I’d caught a ride back to Duffy’s with Pat in Rick Lewis’s pedicab.
As we headed down Gulf Drive, folks all along the way recognized her in the floppy green-and-white Dr. Seuss-style hat.
They waved and cried out, “Miss Duffy! Miss Duffy!”
It was like Pat’s own parade.
A grand party awaited.
The City of Dunedin Pipe Band marched through Duffy’s, bag pipes and drums going, then returned and performed for her, bringing everyone around the joint to their feet, jubilant in salute.
Pat looked like she was in Heaven.
That is, until she left us for the real deal to help out “Honest Ed” for eternity.
Mannix About Manatee, by columnist Vin Mannix, is about people and issues in Manatee. Please call Vin Mannix at 745-7055, write him at Bradenton Herald, P.O. Box 921, Bradenton, FL 34206 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a phone number for verification purposes.