Both JM and the Herald had employee cafeterias, and as many Herald people ate at ours as did JM employees at the Herald’s. Three outstanding Herald cafeteria moments:
1.Briefly meeting John Keasler, my favorite Miami News columnist.
2. Complaining to coworkers about a doughnut-shaped roll that seemed stale. The JM ladies laughed, but the next morning at breakfast they showed me how bagels should be toasted, buttered, and savored.
3. An alarming glimpse out the cafeteria window, eye to eye with the huge Goodyear Blimp that appeared to be coming in at us. But it was only positioning for a landing across the channel at Watson Island.
Walking home from Bayfront Park one day, I noticed people gathering, standing on the sidewalk. I asked someone what was happening and was told, “Orange Bowl Parade is coming.”
How could I have forgotten? My father and I watched that parade every year on TV, and I could already hear the music. So I stayed too. The Coppertone float, carrying four attractive young men, drew the loudest cheers. “It’s the Rhodes Brothers,” someone said of Miami’s iconic, nationally known entertainers.
Before I left JM and downtown, Adelaide’s neighbors buzzed with rumors that a large shopping mall would soon take over our neighborhood between Bayshore and Biscayne, between JM and JC Penney’s. Offers were made to Adelaide and her neighbors, but she swore to hold out.
Years later, I returned downtown to the multi-storied Omni Mall, with its huge carousel in the round feature window. Jordan Marsh and J C Penney anchored it, and the Omni monster had devoured all the homes between, except for Adelaide’s. Her place still stood, a little dog ear carved out of Omni’s northeast corner. She had held out like she said she would.
From somewhere far away, I heard an ex-nun laugh.