For five years I shared my life in the Miami Herald’s “Grove Guy” column. I don’t think my days are much different than anyone else’s. I just happen to write things down.
Since the Herald ended the column six months ago I’ve wondered what to write next…a blog? a screenplay? So far I’ve written nothing but I’m uncomfortable with that.
Someone needs to take notes.
So here I go again, the Grove Guy is back. I’ll e-mail what I write, some of you will forward to others, and it will appear in some blogs. It’ll be news of recent odd experiences, deep thoughts, and minor adventures. Like last week when I attended my 45th.............
HIGH SCHOOL REUNION
Central Florida was a natural place for the Hialeah High School class of ‘65 to gather. The 1019 of us that aren’t dead are spread out and The Turners of Eustis were willing to throw a party for us aging “HHS Thoroughbreds”.
Some of us head Fortune 500 companies while others are too drunk to hold a job. It was a thrill to walk up to someone I hadn’t seen in 45 years and say, “What’s up, Becky?” Becky (a Mary Kay sales director) had no idea who I was.
I think of high school as that last time I was around such a wide variety of people. I spoke to a member of the Ku Klux Klan and another who told me he had once downed 18 beers in a row. I even talked to a Republican that thought Sarah Palin made sense.
How often does that happen? Last month I met a contractor who was painting the building where I work. In a leisurely moment he spied the flower I was holding and asked, “Are you a hippie?” After I assured him that I was he continued, “Tell me, did you actually vote for Obama?” When I told him that I had it seemed he was meeting an Obama voter (or an alien) for the first time.
“Don’t you know he is a communist, doing his best to bankrupt and ruin the country? He takes his orders directly from Moscow !” My new friend went on to say he gets all of his information from Fox News and Hate Radio. “You can’t trust anyone else” he added.
I was fairly nice as I refuted everything he had said. We both enjoyed the conversation, hearing new things from new people. Stimulating, thoughtful, surprising.
High school reunions can be like that.
THOSE BIG BIRDS
Chicago started the trend in 1999 when it put 300 brightly-painted plastic cows all over The Windy City. Coconut Grove businesses just picked up on this by placing large plastic peacocks outside their doors. Painted by local artists, they are meant to inspire, impress, and to dress our village up.
They are interesting but what really impresses me are Coconut Grove’s real peacocks. Why don’t we promote them? Grove realtor Gary Hecht once pointed out, “When a prospective buyer sees one of these birds, they just reach for their checkbook”.
Why don’t we have a flock living in Peacock Park ? Even though they are one of the Grove’s great assets, the City of Miami has been working to decimate their numbers. Despite their efforts I found four feathers in my yard this week.
What’s up with your summer? We know it’s too hot to go outside in Miami . Better to leave. Head for the hills - Nome, Norway, or Niagara Falls - until it cools down to a comfortable 80 degrees in January.
My family has ventured out a bit. We’ve discovered that the Grand Canyon really is grand and while the Bahamas are beautiful, their beaches and coral reefs are not that different from the ones we enjoy here.
Have you been Bahia Honda lately? Get there before the oil does.
RED HOT RETORT
I visited an old friend recently. We have different approaches to weight loss. He prefers regimented programs while I prefer to “wing it”. His latest effort is one that includes the purchase of prepared food supplements. When he offered me a “Whey milkshake” I luxuriated in my replay, “No whey!”
So there you have it for June. I’m just way happy to be writing again.