Welcome the South Florida – AKA there goes the neighborhood.
Neighborhood rumors are that the great-grandfather fashioned a raft made of mannequin body parts, used the mannequin arms as paddles, and in the dead of night, the family escaped Cuba and arrived on the beaches of Florida.
The legend goes, the waters were treacherous, and usual dancing dolphins not did shepherd them – but a phalanx of alligators escorted them – day and night -to freedom. A bounty of ripe coconuts bobbing by provided food and drink. Tiny, tasty fish jumped from the sea onto the raft for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Despite those ‘miracles’ they report their harrowing story makes Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea look like a canoe ride in Central Park.
Welcome the Neighborhood
The Loud Family – not the PBS special
On the Fourth of July our traditions involve red, white, and blue Bunting, strawberries, blueberries, and sparklers.
Theirs involve guns, Sky Flyers, Roman Candles and Screeching Rockets. And, more guns. Why does anybody shoot at the sky?
Our Christmas celebration involves a tree, colored lights and tinsel and Bing Crosby crooning Mele Kalikimaka…
Their Christmas celebration involves a month long production of decorating every square inch of the exterior house with colored lights, so bright that you can read a book at midnight by the light of their decorations. Neighbors have taken to buying blackout curtains to use in December.
For some reason, the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ inspires more loud Salsa music, guns and shooting at the sky. (Hey! Santa Claus is up there!) The symbolism is lost on me.
Our Easter involves colored eggs and lots of chocolate. Their Easter celebration involves 10 cars and several motorcycles parked on their front lawn; barbecuing a baby goat; loud Salsa music for two days; gales of laughter; clouds of cigar smoke and more guns. Again, with the shooting at the sky.
The legendary, loud family – is very friendly and extremely gracious, and, at one time, they invited all the neighbors to their various celebrations. The guns were a buzzkill.
Home Sweet Home?
In South Florida, you see many homes with two chairs on the front porch. When the weather is cooler, people sit on the porch – perhaps, sipping iced tea? Our friendly neighbors have six chairs, a keg, a boom-box and a tiny disco ball.
There goes the neighborhood…
We heard today that the neighborhood has gotten too quiet for the family and they are moving to South Beach. Evidently, Great-grandpa owns a few condo buildings in Miami and he will move the families. Go figure.
Grandpa had a small department store in Cuba and each evening he would bring home a mannequin part to his tiny garage. He fashioned a raft using bits and pieces of the store mannequins.
The day of the great escape, each of his sons playfully carried one quarter of the raft to the beach. Each of the daughters nonchalantly carried mannequin arms to the getaway point on the beach. The story goes, the 10 family members boarded the body raft, used the arms as paddled and they landed in the Florida Keys.
They caught a wave, the phalanx of alligators escorted into the shore and they walked to Miami. Grandpa arrived with a quarter clenched in his teeth.
You can’t make this stuff up.
Oh wait, yes you can.