A Change Up, But Nothing’s Changed
From the Boca Raton Historical Society
The meaning of the name Boca Raton has always aroused curiosity. Many people wrongly assume the name is simply Rat’s Mouth. The Spanish word boca, or mouth, often describes an inlet, while raton means, literally, mouse. The term Boca de Ratones or Boca Ratones was a navigational, referring to a rocky or jagged inlet, but the original location of Boca de Ratones was Biscayne Bay near present-day Miami Beach, according to eighteenth century maps. By the beginning of the nineteenth century, the term was mistakenly applied to the current Lake Boca Raton, whose inlet was closed throughout most of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The “s” and later the “e” were dropped from this title by the 1920s, yet the correct pronunciation remains Rah-tone.
Who was the rat with the kiss of death?
* * * * *
I was about to hit the button when the door whipped open. I stepped back in surprise, then smiled at my old friend Mona. My blonde hair was in a ponytail, but because I still had on multi-layered clothes from my trip I was sweating profusely in tropical Boca Raton, Florida.
Mona sighed in relief. “Sam, you came! If I sounded cryptic and panicky on the phone, I hope you’ll understand. This whole thing was so sudden and unexpected.”
I stood there, staring at my ample-figured, dark-haired, quirky and impulsive girlfriend. “Cryptic about sums you up …and cagey. As usual, you knew I’d fall for that dead part of your urgent phone message.”
Mona chuckled. “And maybe a potential mystery…”
I couldn’t help but laugh. “What amazes me is how I’ve managed to survive this long to keep writing another one.”
Come to think of it, so were my agent and editor.
She looked past me, grinning. “I see you’ve dumped your three crazy old sleuths back in Highlands.”
“You sounded desperate so I rushed here. They say hi.”
“Come on in.” She grabbed one of my bags and led me inside. “I’m still settling in from my move.”
Mona showed me around the spacious first floor condo overlooking the golf course in the gate-guarded enclave. It was a corner unit in a building that housed four in total. Her area was Mediterranean style with clay-barreled roofs. It looked pretty pricey to me, including expensive, high-end leather and wood furniture.
Where was she getting the bucks for this?
She smiled, as though reading my thoughts. “It was his.”
“Whose?” I asked, verbally lost as usual with Mona.
“But he’s dead. You said so yourself.”
“So what gives? How did you end up with it?”
“…He sort of bequeathed it to me.”
“I’m not getting the bequeathed part of that sentence.”
“It’s not what you think. It’s all perfectly legal.”
I dropped down to the couch, shocked. “…Married?”
“So his car collection wouldn’t be stolen by his wife.”
Ha! Like she’s telling me something new, right?