Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Final Awards Ceremony Under The Ficus Tree

Well, perhaps not, but it will be a miracle if this tree in front of the North Miami Public Library survives the reconstruction that's surounding it. All those wonderful buildings that were built in the 1950's, added to in the 1960's, and enlarged some more in the 1970's and 1980's are in the process of being torn down and replaced. The armory, the middle school, the senior high, the public swimming pool, and the library will soon be history. I'm guessing that the little bit of landscaping, including this tree, will soon be gone also.

Essentially all the existing public buildings clustered from N.E. 131st to 137th Street running from N.E. 7th over to N.E. 9th Avenue will be gone.
I spent many an afternoon or evening in that library and attended the high school. My daughter Elena took summer classes there so she could graduate as soon as she turned 16 and start school at the University of Virginia in the fall that year.
I photographed the Miss North Miami Pageant in the armory for over a dozen years and attended a lot of balls and city functions there. The annual South Florida Camera Show, a photo flea market really,was held there for many years, but the promoters moved it to another armory this past February. (If you want to get on their Email list: I've made some good buys there over the years.
But you're wondering what's happening in this picture. It's in front of the library. On the far left is Mayor Kevin Burns, Councilman Scott Galvin is flashing his signature grin in the rear, and Councilman Michael Blynn is on the right. I don't see Councilman Jacques Despinosse (he's too big to miss) but I'm pretty sure that's Councilwoman Marie Erlande Steril in the rear of the group, fourth head from the right, not counting the speaker at the podium. Par for the course, the men are all wearing ties and dark suits in Florida's midday summer sun. The students all look thrilled holding their plaques. Next year we'll be taking pictures in front of a brand new library. Hell, maybe by then Scott will have taught Kevin and Michael how to smile properly. Marie seems to have it down pat!


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