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Saturday, March 11, 2017


       I have visited most of the little-known, kitschy tourist attractions in the book "Weird Florida".  I've witnessed the dancing mermaids of Weekee-Wachee Springs, The Singing Tower, and Miami's own Coral Castle. What I never expected was to discover a "new" off-beat landmark myself.


 Last Tuesday I joined the picket line outside Senator Marco Rubio's Miami office.  I met a woman there who asked, "Our group is going inside to meet with the senator's assistant. Would you like to join us?" I eagerly accepted and headed there at the appointed time.

      Rubio's office is inside a big blue building on NW 36th Street, a half-block from 45's golf course. Signs clearly state that it is the world headquarters of the American Welding Society. I was impressed to walk in and see a wall filled with 95 portraits of the society's past presidents. 

They were etched on metal plates, possibly with tiny welding torches.

       In the middle of the grand entrance to our senator's office was an impressive brown statue of a goggled man about to join two pieces of metal together. This, I later learned, was the Tomb of the Unknown Welder.

The glass doors on the right lead to Senator Rubio's office.

 A security guard filled me in,
  In 1986 a building under construction collapsed in Sarasota, Florida. Many people were injured and unfortunately, one was killed. It turned out that he was an undocumented immigrant, highly skilled in the welding trade. He had been working using an alias so his true identity could never be verified.  

   He now kneels for eternity just outside Senator Rubio's office. While the senator supports kicking people like him out of the country, The Unknown Welder isn't going anywhere.

Note:  a few alternative facts may have been used to create  this story.  I could not verify the security guard's identity either.  
    This fake news thing can be lots of fun but surprisingly, the story below is real. 


    On Tuesday, -while I was picketing- a Miami defense attorney's pants burst into flames. Steven Gutierrez, 28, was defending an accused arsonist. As he  was making his final argument before a jury alleging "spontaneous combustion", the lawyer's right pant pocket caught on fire. The attorney survived but his client did not. He was was found guilty of intentionally setting his car ablaze. 
   Gutierrez blamed the incident on a faulty e-cigarette. 
They don't call us Flori-duh for nothin'.  

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