This column is a potpourri of matters of varying import. First, as indicated in my last edition, Mom's 90th birthday is a week from Sunday, on May 19. Mom and Dad never completed high school but they did everything for me and sister Carol that perfect American parents were supposed to do, and much, much more. For both sis and me, they were each active in scouting (girl and boy); we had family meals every day; there were always daily newspapers; we received ethical and religious training to young adulthood. They gave us a nurturing and loving home, devoid of prejudices and thoughtful and respectful of others. They helped sis and me get our respective college degrees and showed care and pride in what we did in our adult lives, and compassionate understanding whenever we may have goofed. Sister Carol was a school board officer and member for 2 decades and, for the last 10 years, an elected Community College Trustee.
For better or worse, most of you know about me. Dad has been gone for more than a quarter of a century, but Mom has carried on as an active and contributing member of her community, her senior citizens clubs, her church. She has been honored by local civic organizations and by her state legislature. Until I moved here a few years ago, Sunday dinner at her home was a tradition with some of the best meatloaf and spaghetti (Depression-era standbys) that you have ever tasted, and doggie bags for me and my partners. She has been a loved and loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. We all adore her and wish Isabell Maurer the best for whatever days and years that we are blessed to have her be with us.
Next, for the past couple of months I have been promising to mention Bobby Nesbitt, my heartthrob and Key West's baritone, piano playing Nelson Eddy. With his latest recently issued musical CD that displays his extraordinary talents, he still thrills visitors and locals alike, at Roof Top Cafe, La Te Da and various other venues. I'll claim him as my own, if I can ever vanquish his throngs of infatuated admirers that include Phyllis May, Michael Mulligan and Vera Schiff. If I win, Tom Oosterhoudt and Aaron Carter had better beware of a new dynamic duo.
Third, on Friday, April 26, I did file my pro se federal court congressional redistricting lawsuit, and, as you read this, I will have been to the Tallahassee federal court house on May 1, with another hearing there next Wednesday, before three judges (Gerald Tjoflat of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, Robert Hinkle of Tallahassee and the federal Northern Florida District and Adelbarto Jordan of Miami and the federal Southern Florida District).
I've done tons of research, produced reams of pleadings and am opposed on the defense side by nearly a dozen of the highest paid, most powerful lawyers in the State. I've coordinated with Peter Deutsch; Stephen Hodge of Florida State University; Ben Wilcox, Executive Director of Common Cause of Florida; Terence Anderson of University of Miami Law School; with Mayors of Hialeah, Pembroke Pines and Hollywood. African-Americans such as Bishop Victor Curry and distinguished Hispanics are cooperating.
Odds for victory are heavily against us, but the stakes, loclly, state-wide, nationally and, indeed, for the entire world, are so high that I humbly believe it worth the effort.
Finally, the Lower Keys and Key West Democratic Club (yours truly as Chair) and Lambda Democrats of Key West (Henry Woods, President) now fulfill their pledge to bring to you ALL 5 Democratic gubernatorial candidates. We've had Frankel, Reno, McBride, Kunst, and, last but not least, we bring you the Keys version of a young Harry Belafonte, our own handsome and dynamic State Senator Daryl Jones. On Monday evening, May 20, he'll be at Holiday Inn Beachside, Key West, at 6:00 PM, for any and all to come and see, meet and hear. No tickets needed, no admission fee, no expense at all, but plenty of free hors d'ouevres.
In high school, Daryl was a miler track champion, student council president and valedictorian. At the US Air Force Academy, he middleweight boxing champion, cadet Vice Wing Commander and Honor Graduate. On Air Force active duty, he was a jet pilot, Phantom II instructor, and he made Tom Cruise look plain. When released from AD, he has continued as a National Guard and Reserve pilot and Mission Support Commander.
He attended University of Miami Law School where he was President of the National Student Bar Association, was on Law Review and graduated with a JD, cum laude. Daryl served one term in the Florida House of Representatives where he was designated "Most Effective Freshman Representative".
For the last decade, he has been our State Senator, serving with great acclaim. In 1998, President Clinton nominated Daryl to be Secretary of the Air Force (but politics reared its ugly head). In his mid-40s, Daryl (to the chagrin of most women that he meets [and maybe some of the guys here in Key West]), has been married to Myoushi Carter for 20 years and they have 3 children, Derek, Durel and Michele.
He's a lector at Christ the King Catholic Church and his extraordinarily handsome appearance is matched if not surpassed by his dynamic verbal presentation at the podium.
On Monday, May 20, 6:00 PM, Holiday Inn Beachside, Key West, come see, meet and hear Daryl Jones and listen to his vision for a greater Florida, grounded upon a world class public education system, quality public health care for all, a diversified and improved economy, greater public safety, and protection and enhancement of our environment.
(P.S. Again, Happy 90th Birthday Mom; love ya!)