Friends and Neighbors

Columnist: You can feel fall’s arrival in South Florida, if you pay attention

There’s a nip in the air this morning.

And I can feel fall in the air. Once, when I said this to a friend of mind, a New Yorker, who was used to an honest-to-goodness change in the air when she thought of a fall-nip-in-the-air, she and another friend laughed in my face. We were walking back to the office (too fast for me) from lunch. And although I, a native Floridian, could feel the change in the air, all they could feel was the humidity, which caused them to sweat as we rushed back to the man-made air-conditioning in the building.

To them, a nip in the air meant a change in wardrobe — sweater weather; a change of the colors of the leaves on the trees, and the smell of impending icy, cold days.

“Well,” I said to them, “any native-born Floridian would agree with me. We don’t have to see a change in the foliage, or have to change our wardrobe to know that there really is a nip in the air. We just know it. We can smell the crisp, clean air of fall coming up on us.”

We all had a laugh and I always think fondly of them at this time of the year

While we have had a seemingly unusual amount of rain this year, l find that I can now sit on the front porch of my house in the mid-afternoon and feel the southwest breezes floating across my face, as I enjoy the butterflies flitting around the flowering bush next to the porch. I can do this without having to have a terry cloth rag to sop up the sweat streaming down my face.

So, yes, my Snowbird friends, who have migrated here from all places cold, there is a nip in the air. Enjoy it.

Time for a sock hop

Speaking of fall, back when I was in high school (a l-o-o-o-o-o-g time ago) at Booker T. Washington, we used to have sock hoops in the school gym about this time of the year to raise money for the school’s Athletic Department. For 50 cents per person, it was an evening of great fun dancing on the glossy wood floors in our bobbie socks, often cleaning the floor when we fell.

Well, the years have gone by and the prices have changed, but on Oct. 18, the BTW Alumni Association will attempt to relive some of those days when it sponsors an "Ol’ School Sock Hop" at 8 p.m. at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center, 6161 NW 22nd Ave. I’m told the event will feature "food, fun, and music." The donation is $10 per person.

Choir to perform Sunday

The African Children’s Choir will appear in concert at Grace Lutheran Church during the 10 a.m. worship service today.

The 16-voice choir is made up of children from Uganda. And if you have never heard these children, and the pure harmony their young voices bring, you are in for a treat.

The concert is free, and the church is at 254 Curtiss Parkway in Miami Springs. For more information call the church at 9 a.m., at 305-888-2871.

Happy birthday, Coconut Grove

Coconut Grove will celebrate its 140th birthday with historic walking tours and bike tours free to the public and led by local historians .

At 9:30 a.m., today, Miami Dade College history professor Paul George will lead a free walking tour.

Historic Bike Tours with Frank Schena will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Oct. 20 and Nov. 3. Participants must bring their own bikes.

Participants will be taken on tours that will uncover the history of Miami’s oldest community, which was established in 1873.

The events are being sponsored by the Coconut Grove Business Improvement District and HistoryMiami. Call 305-461-5506.

Fun and learning at Beach JCC

Great things are happening at the Miami Beach Jewish Community Center, 4221 Pine Tree Dr. The kick-off event was an open house on Oct. 3, and will continue with Adult Classes to begin on Monday (Oct. 14). Interested persons can register at, or call 340-3206, for classes in everything from Mah Jongg and Bridge, to language classes in Spanish, French and Hebrew; and art (sculpture and pottery). Classes in film, art history and literature, will be taught by Florida International University professors.

On Oct. 17, you are invited to an event called "Sip & Savor", a food and wine pairing to be at 7:30 p.m. The event will feature wine expert Jay Buchsbaum and wines from around the world. Tickets to this event are $40 per person and can be purchased by visiting:, or by calling 305-534-3206.

Then, on Oct. 20, the community is invited to celebrate the MBJCC’s one-year birthday at the center’s Birthday Pool Party, to be from 3 to 6 p.m. at the center.

The center will open its Jewish Book Month program on Nov. 13, with a reception at 7:30 p.m. The evening will feature Helen Nash and her new cookbook, Helen Nash’s New Kosher Cuisine. Tickets are $10 for guests and $5 for MBJCC members or $50 for the series of six events ($25 for members). Visiting authors will be at the center throughout November. Visit for more details.

Celebrating 102nd birthday

Warm birthday wishes to Willie Pearl Porter, a retired registered nurse who on Oct. 5, celebrated her 102nd birthday.

In honor of her special day, The Caring Hearts Guild and the Miami Black Nurses Association worshiped together on Sept. 29, at the Church of the Incarnation in Liberty City. During the service a proclamation, designating Porter the official "Church Mother" was presented by the Rev. Dr. Errol A. Harvey, rector of the church.

Porter is a 1935 graduate of Freedmen’s Hospital School of Nursing in Washington. During her career she served as supervisor of nurses and operating room supervisor at Florida A&M College/Florida A&M University Hospital. She also served as staff nurse at Christian Hospital, Instructor of Nurses at Mt. Sinai Hospital, and at Miami Jackson and Miami Senior High Schools. Porter continues to provide nursing scholarships for high school and FAMU nursing students. The NBNA Miami Chapter has established the Willie Pearl Porter Award of Excellence, presented annually to a deserving member of the organization.

Later during the Sept. 29 service, other tributes were presented to the Porter, along with flowers from the congregation. A Legacy Award and birthday cake were provided by the Black Nurses Association. Josephine Hall, a retired registered nurse, is chairwoman of the Caring Hearts Guild and Dr. Lenora Yates serves as president of the Miami chapter of the Black Nurses Association.

Send all items at least two weeks in advance to Friends and Neighbors, c/o Neighbors, 2000 NW 150th Ave., Suite 1105, Pembroke Pines, FL 33028, fax it to 954-538-7018 or email Pictures are accepted but cannot be returned.

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