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Friday, March 22, 2013


   Everyone loves to whoop it up in the woods.  Trouble is, forests are few in South Florida.  We do have The Great Swamp southwest of us so last Saturday,  25 of us went camping in Everglades National Park.  
   We pitched our tents on high ground called Long Pine Key. 



  Afterwards we saw the sun set on a nearby prairie 

We shared stories, food, and song around our campfire.

 Earlier we noticed an odd sculpture in Neighbor Matthew's campsite.      He told us about the telescope inside. Once it was dark he used it to take us on a tour of the universe.
  Looking through his lens made it seem like we were floating just above the craters of the moon.  Jupiter, Pluto, and the galaxies beyond were amazing as well
 Thanks to him, I saw the Southern Cross for the first time. 

 The next morning we saw this very unusual front left foot.
    A bunch of us hiked the Anhinga Trail three miles east.  We left our dog, Pi, in the car.  Last year a tourist brought his dog along for the hike, well known for its huge alligators, and Little Fifi soon found herself inside one of this black-scaled reptiles.  
   Walking past this nine-footer, just four feet away, left us feeling uneasy.  It wasn't unlike seeing a tiger taking a breather next to the drinking fountain at the zoo. 

This little girl was freaking out on the boardwalk.  I assumed the gators below had scared her (it had happened to my son. Ian, years ago). 
 The mother explained that her daughter was upset because she had not been allowed to pet the hungry gators just below the boardwalk.  Good move.  She was 'bout the size of Fifi.


We had UM Day at our school this week.  I noticed this 6-foot ibishanging out in our cafeteria. I welcomed him and said we had never had such a large bird on our campus and, being a critter, he did not speak.  For some reason he did have hands. He gestured madly to my every question.  The MAGIC of this man/ bird conversation ended when his boss, Donna Shalala, turned to him and asked, "Don't you have mid-terms this week?                   

Had it not been for James Brown, it might have been my best concert experience ever.

Wednesday night four thousand of us were under of spell poetic genius, Leonard Cohen.  

The singer/songwriter shared his views on love and life at the Knight Center for three hours.

   We heard all of our favorites, "Tower of Song",  "I'm Your Man", "If It Be Thy Will", and "Hallelujah" along with many, soon-to-be-favorite new ones. When he danced off the stage at eleven we clapped and begged for more
  Leonard and his band returned to the stage and played for another half-hour.   
  How does the 79-year-old do it?  Getting down on my knees to sing once, then popping up again would be struggle for me. He did it thirty times.  
 What an incredibly humble, talented, and thoughtful man.  He intoduced his unbelieveably talented band and singers four times.  Each intro was personal, new and different.  He thanked us for being there many times as well.  We could not thank him enough for sharing his evening with us.
   Here are lyrics from "Anthem", one of the 28 songs we enjoyed Wednesday night,

I heard them say
Don't dwell on what
has passed away
or what is yet to be.
Ah the wars they will
be fought again
The holy dove
She will be caught again
bought and sold
and bought again
the dove is never free.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.


   We're having another barn dance in the Shell Lumber barn on Saturday, March 30th, 7-11 pm.  Our friends, "The Solar Dogs" will play.  There will also be an art show (the Grove Guy, along with others, will be hawking his wares), open bar, and barbeque.
    Tickets are ten bucks.
    The Howl is a hoot, the kind of gathering that every community should enjoy.  We hope to see you there.


  Want to learn more about the ukulele? Books And Books (265 Aragon Avenue, Coral Gables) is having its first Ukulele Night on Thursday March 4th, at 8 pm.  
 All ukuholics are invited.  This includes everyone who plays the uke,  anyone who wants to learn, or anyone who wants to have some fun on that particular night.   
  Two professional musicians, Bobby Ingram and Sam Sims, will join us to share stories and songs.   
   I am producing the event.  While I am not a musician, I enjoy being a member of the Palmetto Avenue Ukulele Society.  We get together once a month.
    The uke is a simple, cheap instrument and lots of fun to play. Who knows, you may become the next Leonard Cohen.


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