I think this whole mixed martial arts thing came out of the old Tough Guy Fights. That’s when promoters figured out guys would show up in droves to see amateurs try to destroy each other. I showed up for one of the early ones. Staggered fights, based on weight. The lightweights first. The heavies […]

Everybody knew the Cubans could play ball. Seemed like so many guys there, born with gloves in their hands. There was a period, back in 1980, during the Mariel Boatlift, when the city of Miami started putting tons of Cuban refugees under the old Orange Bowl. When I say under, I mean on the ground, under […]

  One of the great perks of Florida journalism was covering the space program during the heydays. Back in the day, people used to line up along the beach in Cocoa to see a launch. And when it was time for the first shuttle to go up, a million people crammed in, shoulder to shoulder. […]

  I’m getting what they call an orientation flight. With the Blue Angels. Public relations. Who cares? I would cut off my arm to get in this thing. Friend of mine drives me out to the airport, a smallish place south of town where they can do stunts and not be in anybody’s way. She’s […]

So I’m heading down to Haiti to interview Baby Doc Duvalier, dictator son of a dictator. He’s been interviewed before, but this is 1980 and tons of Haitians are piling onto anything that floats these days and heading for Florida, so I’m not alone. Mebbe three other writers and a photographer show up. It will […]

We want to look at how teaching school these days is like pushing that big rock uphill. We do a bunch of stuff in the classroom. With kids. The piece de resistance is gonna be a diary. An anonymous diary, from a teacher telling it like it is. We spend a lotta time finding someone […]

I’m sitting with the old sheriff, his big desk between us. He’s cheerful, smiling, telling stories… back in the day. Behind him and along the walls, rustic paintings, shields, masks. On the desk behind me, a collection of dolls, stuff for potions. This is his office. He downplays his reputation, but as we’re talking, there’s […]