Sunday, June 10, 2007

Tigers, Gone Too Soon

In the early 70's Laymond Hardy introduced me to Bobby Tiger and I was soon good friends with his oldest son Robert. My wife Stephanie and I would spent weekends with Robert and his wife Betty at their house on the Tamiami Trail Miccosukee Reservation and frequently hung out at Bobby and Louise's house nearby, with the ladies trading recipes and our little daughter Elena playing with Robert and Betty's daughter. They were within a couple of months of one another, about three years old. One Sunday we were out there visiting. Robert had just bought a new motorcycle and was out on the Trail riding it. There was a knock on the door. It was the Florida Highway Patrol. He'd flipped the bike at high speed and died on impact.

We stayed there until late the night, Stephanie making pot after pot of coffee as everybody stopped by to pay their respects

Bobby's two youngest, Donna and Spencer were about 14 and 16 in the above picture. The car was parked out behind Bobby's house. With Robert gone I didn't see too much of the Tigers for a few years but Spencer grew up and was going to school in town. He met the kind of "nice Jewish girl" from Miami Beach that my mom always dreamed that I'd fall in love with. Florence and Spencer got married and lived near me for several years, but then they moved to the south end of the county, about forty miles away. Since then the only time I'd heard from them was maybe ten years later when Florence called to tell me that Bobby had passed away, and I got to see everybody at the funeral.

A few months ago I got an Email from a mutual friend who now lives on the west coast. He was trying to locate Spencer and Donna but all his Google search turned up was my name in connection with the photographs. I had no better luck than he did in tracking them down. Then only about a week ago Claudia, my ex, mentioned that it had been years since we'd seen or heard from any of the Tigers.

Yesterday I heard my name called out as I stood in line waiting for my coffee in Starbucks. It was Florence Tiger, Spencer's wife!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

My name is José Tirado and I went to school with Spencer many years ago. I´d met Donna too and Spence was such a neat guy. Over the years, after I left Florida, I always wondered what had happened to them. I must say I´m deeply saddened to read that (if this is accurate) they are both dead now. I thank you for posting your photos and the stories of them.

9:36 AM  

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