By Suzanne Sparrow Watson

By the time you read this on Monday morning, Scottsdale will have hosted an extravaganza known as the Barrett-Jackson car auction.  In case you aren’t familiar with it, B-J is the largest car auction company in the world and each January they host one of their premier events in Arizona.  The auction attracts hundreds of thousands of spectators, or “motorheads” as they are known.  You read that right – hundreds of thousands.  Most people have some passing interest in the cars up for auction (this year there were over 1850 special cars) but most people I know go to people watch.  There is perhaps no finer place to see a cross-section of high rollers and wannbe high rollers than Barrett-Jackson.  We have not attended the auction for several years, being neither car aficionados or in need of seeing blondes with boob jobs, but the atmosphere is the same, year in and year out.

        Bret and his Bentley

This year there were several celebrity cars up for sale.  David Spade, the comedian, sold his 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle.  Gosh, I remember when one of the popular boys at school got a Chevelle and rumor has it that the back seat is not all that comfortable.  That said, unlike the average teenage boy, I don’t think the people bidding on it are contemplating spending much time back there.  The auction also featured a 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am from Smokey and the Bandit that was once the property of Burt Reynolds. Not only can you get a famous car, but they are throwing in an autographed copy of the late actor’s autobiography.  What a deal! The front man for the rock band Poison, Bret Michaels, appeared to sell his 2007 Bentley Continental GT.  Just as with Reynold’s car, there is a gift with purchase – a custom “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” guitar autographed by Michaels.  And rap star Pitbull made an appearance to oversee the auction of his 2022 Karma GS-6 EV 305 Edition.  Whatever that is.  Obviously, I am not a motorhead.

As I mentioned, most people I know go to people watch.  There are more than three dozen bars and restaurants at the venue, and they are all packed.  It’s a little like Vegas, where there are VIP suites and special bidder’s areas, but you can still run into the rich and famous out on the floor.  One of the most fun activities is watching the women who accompany the high rollers to the auction.  They wear so much jewelry and shiny clothing that you can see them from Mars.  Sometimes the ratio of jewelry to clothing tips well into the jewelry side of the ledger.  There is so much bleach and silicone in the building I’m surprised it isn’t declared a hazmat area.  Still, it makes for fun watching.

One of the benefits of the auction is the money donated to charity.  Each year Barrett-Jackson gives the profits from several of its car sales to local charities.  Since its inception at a dirt lot in Scottsdale 50 years ago, the company has donated more than $133 million to local and national charities.  So, even if you aren’t a motorhead, you can appreciate their gesture.  If you’re anywhere close to Scottsdale next January, you might want to give the Barrett-Jackson event a try.  I promise it will open up a whole world of beautiful cars, beautiful people and, who knows, maybe a gift with purchase!

Here Today, Gone to Maui – Photo Op

by Bob Sparrow

1st Sunset



Sunday: We arrive on Maui in the afternoon and had made dinner reservations at one of our favorite restaurants on the Kaanapali strip, the Hula Grill – right on the beach, feet in the sand, and one of the best ribeye steaks I’ve ever had.  I know I’m supposed to eat fish here, but this was too good to pass up.




Kaanapali strip

Monday: Stroll the ‘Kaanapali Strip’ seeing who has the best Mai Tais – started small umbrella collection.  Got in front of a TV early enough to watch the Alabama-Georgia championship game.  The game was over by 6:00 Hawaii time, so went to dinner at Monkey Pod, right behind Hula Grill.  Yes, I had fish . . . tacos!



As promised, a sunset and dinner on our sunset dinner cruise

Tuesday: Golf at the Kaanapali Royal Golf Course on a perfect day then a sunset dinner (fish) cruise – seeing lots of whales and a beautiful sunset.  After the cruise we wandered Front Street in Lahaina and settled in at an upstairs bar called Captain Jack’s.  We sat at the upstairs bar next to two guys from Rhode Island; one of them got up to go to the restroom and while he was gone, a restaurant employee came by and asked if anyone was using his bar stool.  We said yes, but he took the stool anyway.  When the guy returned from the bathroom, he was surprised that his seat was gone and asked what happened.  We told him and he looked around for an empty stool, found one and threw it off the balcony onto the street below and walked out.


A Sparrow on the ceiling


Wednesday: Free day, no golf, no tours, but still mai tais!  Drove north up to Kapalua and Napili, had liquid lunch at Duke’s.  Back to Lahaina, strolling Front Street, stopped at Cheeseburger in Paradise where I found my name on the ceiling. Continued on for dinner at The Lahaina Fish Company, yes, we had fish!  Then we went to Warren & Annabelle’s Magic Show and saw two great acts – John George, who was a great magician and pretty funny, and Chris Blackmore who was a good magician and very funny.  A very fun evening!



Sunset at Humu Humu


Thursday: Golf at the private course, King Kamehameha Country Club, awesome golf course and another perfect day.  The club house was designed in 1957 by famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, although he originally designed it as a house for Marilyn Monroe (long story).  Today, as the solitary structure on the hill, it looks like the start of a lunar colony.  After golf, we continue south to the Grand Wailea restaurant and my favorite bar in the world, Kumu Kumu (real name Kumukumunukunukuapua’ha – it’s a fish!).  I had a fish with a shorter name, Linda had a $100 ribeye, and said she should have ordered the fish!


Bob looking good. No, not me, the parrot’s name is Bob – he kept calling out my name, or was he calling out his name?

King Kamehameha Golf Club House







Breakfast at Mala Ocean Tavern. We were so close to the water we got ocean spray in our coffee

The trip was too short, but sweet – sorta like many of my Mai Tais!


By Suzanne Sparrow Watson


Over Christmas I spent some time with family – family that I adore and, apparently, the feeling is mutual.  So, theoretically we should be able to spend endless hours together catching up and socializing.  But as it happened, after about three hours together it was clear we were all ready for a break.  Or, as my college-age great-niece put it:  our social batteries were depleted.  I had never heard that expression but definitely could relate to it.  We concluded that we are all introverts at heart and enjoy time alone.  I got to wondering whether this is a Covid-related issue or something more universal.  Turns out, this phenomenon has been around a while; Covid just made it more apparent.

First, according to the Urban Dictionary (the term hasn’t made it to Webster’s yet), “social battery” is defined as a metaphor for a person’s capacity to intermingle with groups of people in one setting.  If you love having a day to yourself or are relieved when someone calls to cancel plans, it could be because you are an introvert with a low social battery. Being around people – friends, colleagues or family – is a challenging task that takes energy.  If you start the day with a low amount of social battery it doesn’t take much to drain it.  Spending time alone, being creative, is one of the ways that introverts re-charge.

As it turns out, our family was about average in terms of our battery capacity.  According to a 2016 study published in The Journal of Personality, introverts experience fatigue after three hours of socialization. If we exceed the capacity of our social battery, we tend to become irritable, inattentive and mentally and physically exhausted.  Boy, that goes a long way toward explaining why I’m grouchy at a long cocktail party!

Extroverts, on the other hand, need to be with people to charge their social battery.  They start the day like a phone that hasn’t been charged: they need some juice to get going.  They revel in a full calendar of events and meetings, and often volunteer their time in order to create more interaction with people.  Extroverts will keep in touch with friends and family on a frequent basis to share the stories that they need to get out of their systems.  We all know some of these people – the ones that call just as you’re getting dinner on the table and talk for 30 minutes about their round of golf.  Extroverts seldom like to do anything alone, whether it’s going to the grocery store or grabbing a cup of coffee.

But the world isn’t so simple that we can just be introverts or extroverts, there are also ambiverts and omniverts.  As you might guess, these are people that float between being an introvert and extrovert.  Ambiverts will change according to the external situation they are in, while omniverts will change depending on how they feel that day.  Researchers say that most of us fall into the ambivert or omnivert spectrum because we have learned over time what different social situations require.

So, now that I’ve probably depleted your social battery by droning on about this, I’ll conclude by observing that whatever your personality type, Covid has had an effect.  Numerous studies have been done over the past two years about how people have handled isolation during the pandemic.  Not surprisingly, extroverts have suffered more acutely from the lack of activities and interaction with others.  And while some social scientists called the Covid lockdowns “Springtime for Introverts”, that isn’t accurate either.  While lockdowns were more bearable for people with low social batteries, even introverts feel frustrated because their choice to isolate was made for them, and not by them.

Let’s face it, regardless of your type, we’re all tired of this damn virus.  At least now you may have a better understanding of why you’ve been grumpy.


It’s Not the WHAT or the HOW, but . . .

by Bob Sparrow

This week, as you’re reading this, I’ll hopefully be cavorting on the island of Maui, which I’m sure you’ll hear about in a couple of weeks.  But in the meantime, I wanted to perhaps provide a public service, or maybe a private service, to those readers who made a list of New Year’s resolutions – things like losing weight, eating better, exercising, being a better ______ (fill in the blank).

I don’t typically make a list of New Year’s resolutions, and when I do, like most of us, I rarely follow through on them.  I was inspired this year to at least make a couple, by listening to Darren Hardy, who was editor of Success Magazine and is a motivational speaker, who emails a daily (Monday-Friday) video, which is only about 4 to 5 minutes long, dealing with various subjects; it is called ‘DarrenDaily’.  I’ve listened to it every weekday morning for the past five years.  I have to admit that many of the sessions are targeted to younger, climbing-the-ladder, leading-a-team, types, but there is also plenty of things for old codgers like me to digest.

While what I’m about to share with you is not revolutionary, in fact, those who do make New Year’s resolutions in some form, may already do this, but it was new to me.  By way of explanation, the following is a brief, edited version of the parable that Darren shared last week regarding goals.

Long ago a tribe from the Andes mountains plundered their rival tribe in the lowlands, stole a baby and took it to their home in the mountains.  The strongest and bravest of the lowland tribesman attempted to get the baby back but couldn’t handle the high altitude and the rugged trails up the mountain.  After days of trying, they gave up and decided to return home.  As they were leaving, they saw a woman coming down the trail with the baby on her back.  In awe, they asked the woman how she did it.  As she continued by them, she said, “It wasn’t your baby”.

The lesson: The power of your ‘WHY’ is the most important part of any goal; all of your WHATs and HOWs will be meaningless until your ‘WHYs’ are powerful enough to overcome the obstacles that you will face in getting to your goals.

After listening to this, I went back to my two resolutions and saw that I had only written down WHAT I wanted to accomplish this year and HOW, but not the WHY.  Adding the WHY definitely gave the WHAT and HOW more meaning and increased by desire to seriously try to accomplish both of my goals.

If you’re interested in getting Darren’s video publication sent to your email each weekday, you can go to and subscribe – it’s free.

Wishing you all a Happier New Year.  May you make a positive impact this year.




By Suzanne Sparrow Watson

We are a divided country.  I’m not talking about politics, but over something much more important: when to take down the Christmas decorations.  On one side there are the people who put up the decorations minutes after they finish Thanksgiving dinner and leave them up until the first week of January.  On the other side, are people who wait until mid-December to decorate and then whisk everything away on December 26th.  Like much else in our culture, there is no correct answer as to when Christmas decorations should be taken down, but there are a lot of firm opinions in both camps.  But surely there is reasoning on both sides, so for our readers’ edification, I present both arguments.

          Beautiful…and a lot of work

The Christian calendar is the original source for dictating the putting up – and taking down – of holiday decor.  According to religious experts, the beginning of Advent is the correct time to start trimming the tree.  Advent starts on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, which coincidentally in the U.S., is usually around Thanksgiving.  So, for those of you who scoff at people who put their tree up “early”, they are actually following centuries-old tradition.  The Christian calendar also dictates that the decorations stay up until January 6th, or as it is known, the Epiphany. The day celebrates the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist and the arrival of the Three Wise Men.  It is also known as “Twelfth Night”, counting the days between Christmas and Epiphany.  Most of us recognize those twelve days because of the carol, The Twelve Days of Christmas, known for its milking maids and leaping lords and the annual newspaper article of that year’s financial tally for all those gifts.  So, we can conclude that people who put up their tree early and take it down late are not being influenced by Target and Macy’s, but by long-held religious convictions.  Or not.

        Christmas is Over

On the other side of the equation are the “when it’s over, it’s over” group.  Try as I might, I could not find one reputable article arguing for the early demise of Christmas decor. However, being a member of that camp, I am going to put forth my own reasoning.  First, I was greatly influenced by an old neighbor, who I watched drag his Christmas tree to the end of the driveway for garbage pick-up the day after Christmas.  He noticed my horrified reaction, and shouted, “Hey, when it’s over, it’s over.”  I was appalled that he could be so cavalier about the sanctity of the Christmas tree.  But as I came back into our house all of my decorations suddenly reminded me of the person who stays too long at the party.  Right then I had, if you will, my own epiphany.  Each year I took the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day off work.  It is commonly known as “dead week” and for good reason – it’s a great time to relax.  Each Christmas my mother-in-law would give me several books by my favorite authors, and “dead week” was my time to snuggle up on the couch and read to my heart’s content.

So that fateful morning of December 26th, I began to re-think how I wanted to spend my week.  My personality is such that I could not relax on the couch and read, knowing that I had hours of work ahead of me taking down all the decorations.  I looked around the room and felt as if the tree, the stockings, the garlands and the fifteen Santa Claus statues were mocking me.  So, I began to take everything down and by the end of the day the house was back to normal.  I spent the rest of the week blissfully reading and relaxing.  Each year since then, my goal is to have all of the Christmas decor down by noon on December 26th.  I have never regretted it and only smile a bit smugly as my friends lament the chore in front of them in the days after Christmas.  Like a lot of things in life, it’s a lot more fun going up than it is coming down.

But there is another reason I move on so quickly after Christmas is over.  I think that Christmas is a time for reflection and looking back with great sentiment.  New Year’s Day, on the other hand, is a time to look forward and anticipate great things for the upcoming year.  I have found that once I have put away the Christmas decor it allows me to focus on the future.  I know that past couple of years have not panned out the way any of us would have wanted, but still, I have great hope for 2022.  Maybe I’m naïve, or overly optimistic, but I think it will be a good year ahead.

My brother and I wish all of our readers the very best for the new year and once again, we thank you for continuing to read our blog.