Wednesday, November 22, 2006

North Miami ~ Politics As Usual Or Just More Monkey Business?

Claudia, my ex, is always getting on my case with "You're a respected member of the community. You shouldn't be seen going around town carrying a raggedy old toy monkey with you!" and more recently "Get a haircut! You look like a street person!" but those of you have been following my self-portrait project over the past couple of years (and maybe have a sense of humor) likely understand that all those photographs of me in various places around town are acting. Monkey is a prop and he gets other people involved in the photographs. And the hair? It just lends variety to the way I look.

Last year I shot some black and white pictures showing me on the North Miami Board of Adjustment, and my hair was short. I don't think I had the beard then either. I started growing the beard in January after my son Jonathan was here for a visit. He had a beard so I figured that I'd see how I looked with one again.

A couple of weeks ago I was at the grand opening of the new Starbucks next to city hall and they were making a big deal of it with a big pile of snow outside. I took Monkey along for some pictures playing in the snow, a rare treat here in Miami. Check it out:

...and along comes Carol, the lady sitting next to me on the board here. She asked about Monkey, and like most females she thought that he was cute and she was quite impressed with what a sentimental caring guy I must be to still have my childhood toy after all these years. Unlike Claudia she didn't think I was nuts. (Of course she never had to live with me.) "Why doesn't he ever come to the board meetings with you? Bring him with you Wednesday night!" she said. We discussed the effect this might have on the people there to get a zoning variance and decided to just get a few shots before the meeting started.

It turned out that several items on the agenda were either postponed or withdrawn so it was a very short meeting. When my daughter Elena ran for state representitive in Georgia this year she said in her campaign literature that she first got interested in politics from going to city council meetings with me when she was a little girl. I hope that Monkey doesn't get any bright ideas about running for mayor.


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