By DAVID GREEN
My wife recently wrote about our second visit to see our son Ben. It’s such a bother that he took a job in Miami. Why not North Dakota? I’ve heard it’s lovely when the cold wind is whipping the snow into drifts.
For the second time, I was amazed with what we saw. As I said a few months ago, this is from the guy who had no interest in visiting Florida at all, let alone the big city of Miami.
The highlight of the short trip had to be Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens. Once again, it was geocaching that took us on this particular journey. Early one day I went off into some smelly, debris-filled coastal area in search of a hidden container while Colleen and Maddie stood in an open area, looking around and thinking about the crocodile warning sign posted near the parking lot.
This was in Matheson Hammock Park. There was another cache in the adjacent Fairchild Gardens and Colleen quickly discovered an exhibit of Dale Chihuly art was spread around the grounds. Plus, the International Orchid Festival was coming on the weekend.
I wasn’t familiar with Chihuly, but when we visited on the weekend, that day turned out to be one of the most incredible in I don’t know how long.
The orchids on display were truly amazing. The gardens are a little more amazing. The Chihuly was spectacular. Is that one of the showy tropical plants growing over there or is it one of Chihuly’s glass creations that look like a living thing?
I didn’t get to visit former Morenci resident David Carlson this time—I haven’t even written to apologize yet—but Fairchild filled the gap.
I won’t go on and on about the place; just one statement. Up here in the chilly north, you go to a tropical garden such as Hidden Lake or Meijer Gardens and everything is indoors under glass.
You go to Fairchild and it’s all growing outside, including the largest collection of palm tree species in the world.
OK, enough of the natural wonders. Let’s move on the celebrities.
When we visited in November, we ran across comedian Richard Lewis on the sidewalks of Coconut Grove. When we visited in April, another celebrity sighting occurred.
Colleen and I were at the airport Monday morning for a flight back to newspaper land. We sat down to wait, I opened my laptop to tune into the airport’s wireless network and soon discovered, just like in Detroit, it cost about 10 bucks to use it.
So I closed it up and resumed my usual airport activity: watching people.
I spotted a guy standing up next to his luggage and talking quite rapidly to some other waiting passengers who were seated.
When we first passed by, I heard him say something about God and I took him to be a religious sort who liked to accost other passengers and evangelize in a place they couldn’t escape. How wrong I was.
I glanced over there now and then and soon noticed that people were stopping to have their photo taken with him, then moving on to wherever they were headed.
I pointed this out to Colleen and said that I really think I’ve seen that face before. And what a face it was.
The man had scraggly hair, a big mustache, he was overweight and in general looked like a slob. He just wasn’t a very attractive specimen, but he sure was attracting a parade of fans.
I told Colleen that I thought he might be a comedian or maybe an actor. After the people down a few seats had their photo taken with him, I went over and asked who it was.
“That’s Ron Jeremy, the porn star.”
I went back and reported to Colleen without even anticipating her next question: “How come you recognize a porn star?”
I really didn’t have an answer to that one and I’m not even sure how I know of him. I mentioned this incident to reporter Jeff when I was back at work and of course he knew Ron Jeremy. And then he was a little embarrassed that he recognized a famous porn star.
“He’s been in a lot of non-porn movies,” Jeff added, and that made us both feel better.
Two trips, two celebrities, one raised eyebrow.– May 9, 2007