WARRI, Nigeria — He had survived three days in an upside down tugboat at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean and then he saw lights in the water. Air bubbles rose around the cook as he squatted in an air pocket. A diver was coming. Rescue seemed imminent for Harrison Odjegba Okene.
What would Joe Weiss think? Would he even recognize it now? When he fried his first fish at his sandwich joint about a century ago customers had to take a boat from Miami to reach the sandspur-covered barrier island. Inside the rickety eatery, sweating profusely, hungry patrons swatted away ferocious …
MADEIRA BEACH — The medicine man planted his sneakers on the deck of the fishing boat, bowed his head and asked God in an ancient tongue to lead the way, to help them find some remnants of the woman who saved the Seminoles, if only her spirit. Tourists lined the boardwalk and watched him pray, cameras clicking.
In his studio, Ferdie Pacheco stares at the canvas and picks up his brush. Another friend from his youth has passed away. Time to summon a memory.
WESLEY CHAPEL — In a big, bright classroom at Discovery Point, more than a dozen 4-year-olds focused on their teacher — until Mike Keeney walked in. He smiled when he heard their whispers: "Mr. Mike!"
One of the problems of growing older is that each year increases the number of know-it-all iterations of myself that I'm obligated to reassess. In January, in this space, I tried to make sense of the shocking suicide of Gretchen Molannen, the subject of the cover story in the first issue of Floridian last December.
I had floated for hours in a warm mineral spring in Florida, interviewing Eastern Europeans in Speedos and floppy hats. For a reporter, it was an idyllic kind of day.
Back in the early 1970s when University of South Florida St. Petersburg professor Jay Sokolovsky began his career as an anthropologist, nobody bothered with elderly Americans.
The first note about the closing went up in September.
Then the handwritten revisions began.