In the summer of 72 we had a call that there was a riot on Miami Beach and all hands were needed to go to Flamingo Park to render first aid and help with the situation. It was the Republican National Convention and many were braced for trouble.
Miami Beach was blessed to have at that time an amazing police chief in Rocky Pomerance. Chief Pomerance was smart and calm, and he created a no bust zone in Flamingo Park . So rather than a riot, we arrived to find Beat Poet Alan Ginsburg sitting in a large circle reading his poetry and smoking and he was completely nude. It was quite a sight.
I would say that it was a wasted trip but something happened that would change my life forever. I grabbed a ride home from someone with a car and, when I got in, I met Linda Schimmel, my future wife. . We got married in 1975 at the Venetian Pool in Coral Gables. Linda always says it was a much larger wedding than originally planned, as every time I ran into old friends I would invite them. It was an interesting guest list and the best party I ever went to!
At the time, I was working as a bridge tender running the Brickell Avenue Bridge, and then I transferred into bridge maintenance. Eventually, I left work with the state to pursue my talent, which was working with plants. I went to work as grounds foreman at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, and then in plant cultivation and production, and finally to work for myself doing landscaping and lawn maintenance.
Linda and I loved to eat out, but many of our favorite places no longer exist. Later in life, we were not much into concerts anymore, but were big Marlins fans and really looked forward to the new ballpark.
From Linda Conner: Bob was diagnosed with cancer in 2004 and suffered many challenges. Back when Miami Stories started appearing, we began working on our own stories and, as Bobs health declined, it fell by the wayside. He passed away March 3, 2012, never having quite finished, and never getting to sit in Marlins Park. As his wife, I have gone back and done a little polishing of Bobs Miami Story, but it is a fond remembrance of his life in South Florida.