Here are a few of my articles from South Florida magazines .
It was the Roaring Twenties. The Volstead Act (Prohibition) put an end to Grandpa’s after-work gin and tonic and Great Aunt Milli’s Manhattan at her private country club. Yet imbibers of hard liquors would not be denied.
Joe Gillie is a self-professed “Disney freak” with a soft spot for Mickey Mouse. He’s also an acrylic painter, a master at vegging out by his pool, and a dreamer. And one day, he hopes to build that dream home on his eight wooded acres in the western North Carolina mountains near Waynesville. But don’t look for him to retire any time soon.
Michael Fagien leads a double life. By day, he’s Dr. Fagien, chief medical officer of The Sagemark Company. There, he spends the majority of his time reading Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans in his office. By night, he runs a jazz empire—a combination of JAZZIZ magazine, JAZZIZ Bistro at the Hard Rock Resort & Casino in Hollywood, and a number of other branded consumer items. So when does he sleep?
Shades of Blue, the title of Michael Kotler’s recently self-produced music CD, a compilation of 12 original piano pieces, runs through his veins like a variegated theme. While each score, like the blues, is a distinct composition, they meld comfortably into each other often making it difficult to discern where one ends and the other begins.
At the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, United States long jumper Bob Beamon realized what psychologist and human behaviorist Abraham Maslow termed a “peak experience”—he won the gold medal. Having fouled in two preliminary runs and barely qualifying for the finals, his spectacular jump of 29’ 2-1/2” broke world and Olympic records by close to two feet, and added a new term to contemporary sports vocabulary—Beamonesque–meaning ‘a spectacular feat.’
An old football injury slows his gait and his neck and back aren’t as supple as they used to be, yet 72-year old D. James Kennedy, pastor of the nearly 10,000-member Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Ft. Lauderdale, is still agile enough to hit a winning overhead smash in a rousing doubles game of tennis. It’s his stress reducer.
In the mid 1920’s Boca Raton’s first golf course opened to the public as a part of the Cloister Inn. Changing the name to the Boca Raton Hotel and Club in 1930, the course became private, open only to club members and hotel guests. As the city’s population increased, additional private golf courses, each bordered by upscale residential communities, were deftly carved out of sandy orange groves, vegetable farms and waste areas. Boca Raton experienced a boom in the development of private golf course communities in the 1980’s and today is home to some of the finest. Five of these courses are profiled.