Volume 1: Debbie Banks
I remember when I was a little girl and my grandfather (Sidney Banks, first generation), whom I loved dearly, used to take me, all dressed up, to the Sunday Night Buffet Dinner in the dining room. Men were always in suit jackets and there was always a band playing. I even remember the singer, Lee Carroll, who I thought was absolutely gorgeous, singing our favorite songs if we asked. Lots of our guests and members would dance and so would my brother Lee and I! Every single table would have a lit candle and a relish tray. After we enjoyed our Shirley Temples, Lee and I would order hot turkey sandwiches without the turkey for dinner. They were basically bread and gravy, but we loved them…imagine that!
I remember spending every weekend with my mom at “the hotel” and we loved every minute of it. We swam in one of the two rectangular pools and especially loved the diving board.
I remember when Santa used to come to Lago Mar every Christmas morning by helicopter. I kind of remember that my dad was especially happy when Santa left via helicopter and nothing bad had happened. Now that I am older I totally understand his anxiety. I remember when the Easter Bunny actually hid real Easter eggs. That stopped when there was a weird smell in the beginning of summer and Lee and I had the job of finding the real egg that was not found during “The Hunt.” Since then, the Easter Bunny has been hiding plastic eggs with little toys in them.
I remember when every Monday night all of our guests would dress up and attend the cocktail party that my parents had invited them to in our ballroom. Everyone had a great time! There would be a “wiener roast” for the kids outside where Lee and I would go. After the cookout, Lee and I would go to the game room on the beach where we would play pinball and pool with hotel guests that we are still friends with now. I remember the original Soda Shop and when a Snickers bar cost just 10 cents. Lee and I loved treating the young hotel guests to a candy bar or ice cream cone. I guess we inherited the hospitality gene and it was obvious even back then!
I am still extremely close to some of our guests that are my age that I met over 40 years ago. Lago Mar is a very special place that is completely unique and can never be duplicated.