Saturday, July 04, 2015

I need your help

If you like what I do here, and you'd like to see it continue, then I could really use your help. I hope you'll consider making a donation to help keep this blog going.

Just click on the Paypal "donate" button at the top of the right-hand column and follow the instructions.

Thank you for your support and continued readership.

Friday, July 03, 2015

Twiggy, the waterskiing squirrel

Happy 4th ofJuly, everyone. And please stay safe on the water!

twiggy, waterskiing squirrel, GoPro, twiggy, squirrel

'The nicest kid in middle school'

According to Miami-Dade County Judge Mindy Glazer, Arthur Booth was the "nicest kid" at their Miami Beach middle school.

The two had a reunion of sorts yesterday after Glazer recognized Booth on a video hook-up from jail where Booth was being held on charges of burglary and grand theft.

Via the New York Daily News:
A Florida man burst into tears when he discovered the judge at his bond hearing was a middle school classmate, video of the emotional reunion shows.

Arthur Booth, 49, appeared in court Thursday after police said he broke into a home, stole a car and fled from authorities. He caused two accidents before crashing the Honda Accord and being arrested Monday, police said.

Shuffling papers, Miami-Dade County Judge Mindy Glazer said, "I have a question for you - did you go to Nautilus (middle school)?"

Booth clapped his hand to his face. "Oh my goodness!" he said with a smile that soon turned to tears.

"I'm sorry to see you here. I always wondered what happened to you," Glazer said as Booth cried.

"This was the nicest kid in middle school. He was the best kid," Glazer said, reminiscing on their time at the Miami Beach school. "I used to play football with him, all the kids, and look what has happened."

As Booth, overwhelmed with emotion, shouted "Oh my goodness!" seven times, Glazer said she hoped he turns his life around.

"Good luck to you sir," she said. "I hope you are able to come out of this okay and just lead a lawful life."

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

The bikini made its debut 69 years ago this week

Maria Kanellis

While poking around on the Internet this morning I learned that the bikini was first introduced 69 years ago this Sunday, on July 5, 1946.

The bathing suit's debut came less than a week after the United States conducted a test of the atomic bomb near the Bikini Atoll in the Pacific. 

And that's great ... because I've been looking for an excuse to post a photo (above) I shot a few years ago on Miami Beach of a model named Maria Kanellis.

(We did the shoot behind the Delano Hotel. Afterwards some guy approached us and thanked us profusely for picking that particular stretch of beach for the shoot. Maria went on to bigger and better things after she left Miami Beach.)

Seven years after the bikini's introduction, some people were having a hard time accepting the fact that women would actually wear something so scandalous.

In 1953, a Miami minister named John Henderson went bonkers after seeing a 4th of July-themed photo of a bikini-clad model in a newspaper.

"I am humiliated to think that a city like Miami would celebrate the Fourth of July by disgracing womanhood," Henderson was quoted as saying.

Miami Daily News, June 24, 1953. 

And a year later, the bikini was in the news again.

A story that ran on page one of the September 1, 1954 issue of the Miami Daily News reported that a South Beach stripper named Patrona Bugg stopped early morning traffic on the MacArthur Causeway after she decided to strip down to a bikini and wade in the waters near Palm Island.

Miami Daily News, Sept. 1, 1954.
As hundreds of workers drove past at 7 a.m., Patrona calmly disrobed and waded in the water.

She put on a leopard-cloth bikini bathing suit, obviously made from a very small leopard.

No fewer than four Miami Beach cops quickly responded to the scene and took Patrona into custody.

Later, during a court appearance,  the News reported that Patrona told a judge she didn't know that she had been breaking the law.

"I did not know it was against the law to take a swim in Miami Beach," Patrona told Judge Lawrence Hoffman in a voice which mingled innocence with a heavy Latin accent.

Hoffman let her off with a suspended sentence.

Footnote: A week later, Patrona was back in court after getting into a fist fight with another woman on the sidewalk outside a South Beach club.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Today's classic Don Wright cartoon

Hotel and restaurant magnate J. Willard Marriott makes plans for an "Honor America Day" celebration on July 4th, 1970.

And Miami News cartoonist Don Wright imagined what the celebration's organizers might do with a captured hippie....

Miami News cartoon by Don Wright.
June 21, 1970.

(Click image to enlarge)

Monday, June 29, 2015

The way we were....Cops try to shut down Miami's first underground newspaper in the Summer of '69

via Coconut Grove Grapvine


Jerry Powers was ahead of his time.

In the summer of 1969, Miami cops did everything they could to harass Powers, who was the 22-year-old publisher of the Miami Free Press and the Daily Planet, Miami's first underground newspapers - including arresting the paper's teen-age newsboys. Police called the paper's contents, "obscene."

Associated Press,  April 21, 1969.

Powers told the AP, "One morning we may wake up with a 1984 situation here in Florida, where the police can do anything they want."

In August 1969, Powers dared cops to arrest him.

From a 2009 Miami New Times story:
Jerry Powers strolls the sidewalk outside the stately Biltmore Way entrance to Coral Gables City Hall. An impish 23-year-old New Jersey native with a shaggy black mop top and mutton-chop sideburns, he carries a newspaper bundle under his left arm. It is the ninth issue of the Daily Planet and Miami Free Press, a fledgling underground newspaper he founded four months earlier.

Around 10 a.m. August 25, 1969, the muggy air causes his dark polyester slacks to cling to his legs. But the stifling heat does not deter him.

Near the Mediterranean-revival building's front door, Powers hands a newspaper to a heavyset, silver-maned man, who unfolds the tabloid to reveal a front-page spoof of the City of Miami's plans to annex Coconut Grove. Powers gives copies to three other passersby.

He's daring the cops to arrest him.

Inside city hall, Coral Gables City Attorney Charles Spooner addresses a gaggle of reporters crowding his desk. The well-groomed lawyer with a Brylcreem pompadour and a tightly knotted tie says the Daily Planet is obscene and has no place in Dade County. Eight merchants who carry the twice-monthly publication have been threatened with arrest. "Perhaps we are a little bit more backcountry than a big city like San Francisco," he says. "From reading [the Daily Planet], I don't know how it meets the social needs of our community."

Powers presses on as four Gables cops approach. A tall one wearing Ray-Ban aviator sunglasses takes a copy of the Daily Planet, peruses it, and then abruptly grabs Powers's right arm. "You are under arrest for distributing obscene material," he announces while walking Powers to a squad car. The fledgling publisher sits comfortably in the back seat, his right arm hanging out the window. A reporter asks if the arrest was a surprise.

"We sort of expected this to happen because the people in Coral Gables are used to burning books," Powers declares. "The city attorney, by the way, and this is a fact and I have documentation, is on a mailing list [for] sex literature. I think [this is] his motive for causing this arrest."

"Move away," the cop barks. "No one should be talking to this man."


Miami News, Aug. 26, 1969.

In 1974, the Daily Planet ceased publication.

In 1992, Powers launched Ocean Drive magazine.