Saturday, April 08, 2006

The Kiss

I guess it was about about 1968 when I started covering the North Miami political scene for the old North Dade Journal. Everything from the twice a month City Council meetings to getting some photos of the police practicing on the firing range back when they still carried 6 shot revolvers. This led to doing some public relations photography for the city and getting asked to shoot campagn photos for people runnng for office. That's what led to my doing all of Congressman Bill Lehman's photography from the time he first ran for congress to his retirement twenty years later.

It also led to my being asked to serve on the city's Youth Opportunity Board about 1969 or '70, and that led to other more important board appointments, as well as involvement with the North Miami Chamber of Commerce and the North Miami Mayor's Economic Task Force. I also got involved with the North Dade YMCA when my kids were young. By 1993 I was vice chairman of the North Miami Planning Commision and on the boards of directors of the YMCA, The North Miami Mayor's Economic Task Force,and the Chamber of Commerce. That meant I was usually having to attend City Council meetings as well, because they had final say on Planning Commission decisions. And of course the other organizations had membership meetings in addition to board meetings. I was going nuts! I tried to resign from a couple of them but was always asked to stay. When my mother died in 1993 I used that as The Excuse and resigned from everything! I finally had time for friends outside of civic happenings, and I started doing a lot of fishing again for the first time in years!

When my good friend Scott Galvin got elected to the City Council he called me up and asked me if I'd please reconsider, get active again, and serve on a board. I relented and was soon appointed to the Board of Adjustment. Then I got talked into serving on the Disaster Preparedness Board. So far I've been able to hold the line. Between the two boards and the two monthly council meetings, that's only four meetings a month.

Once a year the city throws a Boards Appreciation Dinner for the few dozen of us who volunteer our time. The theme this time was a luau, which explains the strange looking things around our necks. I was working on my 15mm self-portrait project at the time and took the camera along. I was having a great old time talking with people, fooling around and taking pictures of myself with this one, that one and the other. But some people are really special. I always look forward to chatting with Roseline Philippe. We'd both arrived early, and we ended up sitting and dining with one another. This photo I think sums just up how great it is for everybody to work together for the common good in a harmonious multi-cultural community.

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