Saturday, July 23, 2016


A little break from the birds.

I do a tour of the local lakes most Saturday mornings and today I got a little hungry when I was done and drove over to Wendy's for some nuggets. This Wendy's is directly across the street from the Pule nightclub just a couple miles from the house and less than a mile from where our kids went to school. Heck, most of the victims brought to the hospital is right next to where both our boys were born. So, I have been driving past this location for most of nearly 25 years.

Pulse was originally an Italian restaurant we visited at least once. After that closed it eventually became a nightclub catering to a primarily gay clientele. The place was fairly unassuming and had a packed parking lot after hours. Again, I drove past this spot all the time heading to the stores or coming home. After the shootings the roads were closed for weeks as the investigations went on so I didn't have a reason to go near it.

Now, the spot is a memorial and people still file through all day. Some leave items, many more take photos and read what was left at the front entrance. When you leave the Wendy's parking lot to the main road you are facing Pulse. I decided to take a photo nearly two months after the event.


Two days before the Pulse shooting, Christina Grimme, a singer who was on 'The Voice', was shot and killed 2 1/2 miles in the other direction from our house. Senseless violence so close to home. But remember, this is not a violent city. This was just two crazy events in one weekend carried out by two lunatics. I still feel safe here but deeply saddened. I, and many countless others, love Orlando. All the signs say it. 'Orlando Strong', 'Orlando United', 'Orlando Love'.

We are a wildly diverse city and we are better for it. Glad our kids were brought up tolerant of others and they really don't get why people hate others for little reason. Generations are getting smarter all the time. I was born in Gainesville and lived in several cities in Florida but Orlando will always be my home.

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