Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Best Meals In Life Are Free


That's Griffing Park in the background and across the street to my left is the Griffing Community Center. There was some kind of hurricane preparedness presentation, or maybe it was a crime watch presentation, or who knows? That was a month ago.

Anyway, Marvin, the guy on the left, was schlepping in the munchies and the hand-outs, and I'd stepped outside to give him a hand with the schlepping. He works for the police department, going around to various community groups and local schools getting the residents up to speed on what's going on.

Obstensably I was there because I'm on the city's Disaster Preparedness Board, the Board of Adjustment, as well as being on the board of directors of the Central North Miami Homeowners Association. Also, I suppose, because as my ex keeps telling me "You're a respected member of the community!" usually followed by "...and you should get a haircut! You look like a streetperson!" But hey! I'm 65 and still have my hair so I flaunt it. Marvin should be so lucky!

So here I am, "a respected member of the community" doing my civic duty, taking part in the discussion, taking notes and making suggestions. A more immediate reason for my showing up that morning was the free food, ice cold cokes, little pastries, fresh veggies with dip, one inch sections of sub sandwiches impaled with toothpicks, nuts and chips, and best of all, hot coffee.

Every little bit helps, of course, when the city still pays us board members the same amount that they paid way back in 1961. Then recently they had the temerity to give themselves a ten-fold salary increase, a gold plated health insurance plan, plus a generous expense allowance. What about the board members? "It wasn't in the budget" I was told. "No funds are available this fiscal year." So I attend all these free breakfasts. Maybe next fiscal year's budget I'll get enough money to afford a haircut.

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