Monday, December 11, 2006

All Those Thrilling Board Meetings

I was photographing for a weekly paper called The North Dade Journal back in the late 1960's, and one of the things I covered was the local North Miami political scene, including city council meetings and some advisory board meetings. I thought of myself as the hippy photographer back then, complete with bell bottom jeans and shoulder length hair, but it wasn't long before I was asked if I was a city resident and would I like to serve on the Youth Opportunity Board.

Within a few years I was vice chair of the city's planning commision and on the boards of directors of the N.M. Chamber of Commerce, North Dade YMCA, and the North Miami Mayor's Economic Task Force. I chaired the mayor's re-election campaign and ran for city council myself. I was constantly attending breakfasts, luncheons, and dinners. At least I was eating for free. I was always dressed in suit and tie and at some point during the early 1970's my long hair was sacrificed. But I had no time for myself. It was always run here, run there. I tried to resign from a few of the positions but it was always "Oh no, Al, we need you!"

Finally about a dozen years ago my mother died. That was my excuse. I resigned from everything! I started fishing again. I'd recently gotten a new lady in my life. Life was getting good once more. A few more years went by. My friend Scott Galvin decided to run for council again. He got elected. He had board positions to fill, appointments to make. My phone rang. First it was just the Board of Adjustment, and I was surprised to discover that I was overdressed when I showed up in suit and tie. Then other less important "opportunities" kept arrising and good ol' Al said "yes" again. Now it's not just the casual clothes, but my hair seems to slowly getting back to where it once was. I grew a beard again. Hippy Al. My ex is always on my case about it. She says that as a "respected member of the community" I shouldn't look like a "street person". On the other hand my fiance looks at my thick mess of curley hair and says that at my age "If you got it flaunt it". So here I am at one or another of those seemingly endless meetings sitting around the table discussing Important City Business. The city is in good hands.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you checked out Bill's Blog lately? Bill's Blog:

And how about the Pnut or RFF? RFF:

Nothing new at the poo until I upload the new material. You know the poo, right? It's:

4:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

scratching head trying to see the last comments relevance to anything you wrote.

Real politics should be about real people at a local level and their needs.

Should not matter about the hair and beard. It is the heart that matters.

I cannot read anymore this afternoon but I have bookmarked you for the future.

Great blog al.

8:34 PM  

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