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Thursday, May 24, 2012


I've seen him for four years, five days a week, tall and skinny.  "Swish, swish", he strokes the ground as his skateboard glides past.

He's heading east to school as I drive west to work.  The young man seems to barely notice as we pass.  Maybe I'm too familiar. I usually get a slight smile and a little wave.

I used to know him better.  We lived in the same house for six years.
Ian's morning treks end tomorrow when he graduates from high school.
Next week I'll have the street to myself.  Sometimes I'll remember how we used to pass each other, my handsome son with the sun in his face and buds in his ears.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


He did more than invent the airplane with his brother, Wilber.  

Orville Wright played this mandolin "to get back at a neighbor for his piano playing". 

These were among the discoveries we made in our nation's capitol last weekend. 
Ford's Theater?  Many people wanted to burn it after Booth killed our president there.  A hundred years had to pass before it was turned into a theater again.  
Do you think they'll do that to  the Texas Book Depository in 2063?

We borrowed bikes to see the sights.  According to the Vietnam Memorial, Jesse C. Alba was the last American killed in that unfortunate war.

Fooling around with Meagan in Eastern Market 

She lives with our son, Ruy, in the Capitol Hill neighborhood,

 The new statue of Dr. King stands tall, staring across a lake toward the Jefferson Memorial.  

On our way north, passing  through the security at MIA, we noticed a very tall clown getting x-rayed behind us.  It apparently revealed nothing dangerous in his billowing pink pajama bottoms.  A moment later we were putting on our shoes and I told him, "You looked great!"  He replied, "I'm a doctor and I can wear what I want.  Looking down at his orange iridescent shoes he added, "This makes people happy". 
We later learned it was Patch Adams on his latest adventure.

Friday, May 11, 2012


Coconut Grove marked the anniversary of the killing of Osama bin-Laden by recreating his death.  U.S. Army rangers pretended he was hiding in our abandoned Grand Bay Hotel.

It was early Tuesday morning when we heard huge helicopters flying over our house.  Francesca and I were, to say the least, shocked out of slumber.  
So were 10,000 other Grove residents. 
We ran outside at 2 AM to look for an unseen enemy.  A fighter jet thundered in wide circles as, a mile north, Army Rangers were rappelling down to the roof of the twelve-story hotel.

It seemed like the beginning of WW III,  or perhaps, if you're voting for Mitt, The Rapture.  How else could you explain this nightmare?   Neighbors heard the helicopters, gunfire, and blasts of explosions as a hundred soldiers seized the dark hotel.  A mile south we were just looking to the sky and the roar of an angry, circling jet. Fifteen minutes later it left and the choppers thundered overhead again.

When it ended we had no idea what the hell had happened.   We chalked it up to a major terrorist response and tried to get back to sleep.  The morning Miami Herald revealed nothing as did the Internet.
Finally, Wednesday's paper ran the headline, "Resident's Shell-Shocked by Dead-of-Night Military Drill".  

The article was written by Carl Hiaasen's son, Scott.   No doubt this only-in-Miami story will end up in one of his dad's novels. 
 It explained how "an unannounced military training exercise had jolted many unsuspecting residents from their beds".   He got that right.   Hiaasen quoted Army spokesman Major Michael Burns explaining how this  was all okay as "no real bullets were used".  

As a Grove resident I have heard plenty of middle-of-the-night gunfire.  Once it went on for so long I rode my bike to downtown Grove to witness the end of a major gunfight.  But that was during the cocaine wars and there's been nothing like that for years.  

The army maneuvers got our attention.  Maybe its the key to restoring Coconut Grove's sagging tourist industry.

The Grove Chamber could encourage the military to recreate The Osama Experience every year.  It could be our Burning Man, something to out-Disney Orlando. 
I hear the ads now, "Step inside the thunder!  Experience the power, the military might of that amazing night in Abbottabad, Pakistan..." 
But no, I'd rather sleep.  

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


1,786 people rode in last Friday's Critical Mass bike ride in downtown Miami (every month someone makes a video of us passing by then they count the heads).  
Mine had an orange fish on it.   Francesca and I are members of Team Fish and the Dutch Tourist Council, who sponsored the event, have this thing for the color orange.  

The ride was great fun as was the party afterwards.  It featured a rolling bar pedaled by the dozen people seated around it.  
On the way there I spotted a familiar face about to cross South Dixie Highway.  I look straight at him and said, "You stole my bike".  I had said the same thing to him six months ago but this time he wasn't sitting on it.
    He looked admiringly at the bicycle that had been his for two days then asked for money.   I try to be positive about most things. Maybe it was good that he was asking instead of taking.