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La Floridiana by Will Moriaty
   Now in our fifth calendar year
    PCR #245  (Vol. 5, No. 49)  This edition is for the week of November 29--December 5, 2004.

Will's Miami Madness, Part 2
 by Will Moriaty
 by Mike Smith
Radio Shack Shootings and other Gateway area tragedies....Post-Halloween Blues....Steve Lillywhite reunites with U2
 by Andy Lalino
Gateway Memories....Hall Of Fame Bound....Award Season Begins....Back Where He Began....Tony The Tiger Was Busy....No Education Needed--Just Money....Sex Ed In The Comics....It Was Only Two Points....Meet The Beatles, Part 45
 by Mike Smith
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Will's Miami Madness -- Part Two

Fairchild Tropical Garden
The stunning beauty that is Fairchild Tropical Garden. An eastward view of the Garden's Royal Palm Lake.
I have shared many stories in previous editions of "La Floridiana" about the Fairchild Tropical Garden in Coral Gables.

This is possibly my absolute favorite place on the planet earth. My most previous trip there was in October 2002 with Greg Van Stavern. After visiting the Coral Castle on Friday morning October 29th, I traveled up Old Cutler Road to spend the remainder of my afternoon at one of the finest botanical gardens in the world - - Fairchild Tropical Garden.

I will let the photos tell the story as I have covered Fairchild so many times before.

South Beach Friday
The latest addition to Fairchild Tropical Garden is the Pine Forest display adjacent to the Lost Lake. The display contains examples of plant species found in the South Florida Rocklands that run from Broward County down to the Florida Keys. This natural community consists of Miami Oolite bedrock with South Florida Slash Pine overstories and tropical hardwood understories.
T-tops off, the Nightstalker and I left Fairchild around 3:30 P.M., headed up Old Cutler Road, journeyed through Coconut Grove, Silver Bluff, Brickell Avenue, downtown, and out McArthur Causeway to Watson Island, where the oldest international airline, Chalk's, still uses the Government Cut as a runway for its runs to the Bahamas.

From the Chalk's terminal, I took a run up Ocean Drive and parked across from the Jackie Gleason Convention Center in Miami Beach. After watching the sun set behind the Art Deco buildings of SoBe, I headed back to reality and the Red Roof Inn were after a night's sleep, my Miami Madness would end at the South Florida Airline Historic Association's collectible show on Saturday October 30th.

The Chalk's terminal at Watson Island.
I was blessed to once again rejoin two Miami institutions in their own right, Auggie Hiscano and his son "Miami" Mike Hiscano. I could write volumes from the history of Miami that these two possess. But like all good things, my journey had to come to its conclusion.

I had plants to pick up in Ft. Myers and a Halloween Party at home in Plant City to attend.

"La Floridiana: the book
While we're on the subject of writing volumes, I can now reveal that I have completed the manuscript to my first book derived from columns seen in "La Floridiana".

The Nightstalker, looking smart and sleek next to the Government Cut across from the Port of Miami.
One of the many resident Green Iguanas at Fairchild is seen sunning itself at Center Lake.
"William Moriaty's Florida" was registered with the Library of Congress on October 26, 2004 and will hopefully see book form in the next few months.

In order to accommodate the work this will require, as well as resurrecting my tree planting organization, I will be reducing the frequency of my "La Floridiana" columns from weekly to monthly.

It has been an honor and a delight to provide you with this column over the past three years, and I hope that you will enjoy the book as much as the column.
Like father, like son - - the Miami memorabilia tag team of Auggie Hiscano (l) and "Miami" Mike Hiscano (r) at the 2004 South Florida Airline Historic Association's collectibles show.

"La Floridiana" is ©2004 by William Moriaty.  Webpage design and all graphics herein (except where otherwise noted) are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2004 by Nolan B. Canova.