Friday, March 31, 2017

Weekend Top 6 Picks for April 1st and 2nd.

Saturday April 1, 2017 (April Fools Day)
1pm to Midnight Donations. Relay for Life. Dr. Phillips High School, 6500 Turkey Lake Road, Orlando, FL. 1 in 3 women and 1 in 2 men in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. One of those people could be you or someone you love. That's why we Relay. When you join a Relay For Life event, you're helping the American Cancer Society fund groundbreaking research, crucial patient care programs, and education and prevention information. When you Relay, you help save lives.

4:30pmto 6:30pm Free. Market2Park. Shady Park Hannibal Square New England and Pennsylvania Ave. Winter Park FL.

7pm to 10pm Free. Then There Were 4. Gator Grill 9 North Central Ave, Umatilla, Florida 32784. Join The musicians on April Fool's Day at Gator Grill in scenic downtown Umatilla, TTW4 is coming to Lake County!
A special guest Clyde will be sitting in.
There's a wine event going on from 5-8pm for $25, and we start at 7pm.. So taste some wine, and/or check out their menu and have dinner, then spend some time with TTW4!

Sunday April 2, 2017
Noon to 5pm. Fresh Squeezed. Morean Arts Center 719 Central Avenue St. Petersburg, FL 33701. Performance art you can drink with a straw! March 11 - April 30, 2017 (140 hours over 23 days)As part of the six-artist exhibition “Fresh Squeezed: Emerging Artists in Florida” at the Morean Arts Center in St. Petersburg, award-winning performance artist Brian Feldman will be presenting a juicy new project of the same name; his first in Tampa Bay.
“Fresh Squeezed” will be the longest performance art piece in Pinellas County history, as well as of Brian’s career, at 140 hours over 23 days.
During each weekend of the exhibition, Brian Feldman will be in the gallery window meticulously making and serving 100% fresh squeezed Florida orange juice in compostable cups for gallery goers to enjoy, and all for the price of a drawing.Draw him a picture of an orange for a small!
A picture of a glass of orange juice gets you a medium!
Or you can draw Brian making your orange juice and receive a large!
Oranges provided by Maxwell Groves est. 1935.
Colored pencils, crayons, markers, watercolor paint sets and card stock paper will all be provided.
The gallery walls surrounding Brian are envisioned to be filled with over a thousand drawings by the end of the exhibition.
The performance will be live streamed in its entirety at periscope.tv/BrianFeldman.
“Fresh Squeezed” references [1] both parts of the exhibition’s name (literally “Fresh Squeezed,” and “Emerging” [newly created, i.e. orange juice]); [2] the once-proud citrus industry in Pinellas County, 90 years removed from its heyday*; [3] Brian’s lifelong love of fresh squeezed Florida orange juice (that you can chew!), thanks to his grandfather’s daily act of making it for him as a child; and [4] his career-long exploration of durational and participatory performance art.
presented as part of
Fresh Squeezed: Emerging Artists in Florida
Amanda Cooper, Curator of Exhibitions
Kelsey Nagy, Assistant Curator of Exhibitions
But that’s not all! Every weekend during the month of April, when not making 100% fresh squeezed orange Florida juice at the Morean, Brian will be presenting the St. Pete Tour of his acclaimed Pulitzer Prize-submitted “Dishwasher (St. Pete Tour)” performance. Tickets are available at http://dwstp.eventbrite.com/
Friday & Saturdays: 10am-5pm (7 hours)
Sundays: 12-5pm (5 hours)
No performance Friday, March 31 due to The Skill Crane Kid (Gasp! The Gasparilla Fringe Festival 2017).
Modified hours on Saturday, April 1: 1-5pm (4 hours)
*Bonus* Pre-Gallery Talk Day: Thursday, April 6: 2-6pm (4 hours)
Second Saturday Art Walk, April 8: 5-9pm (4 hours)

 2pm to 4pm Free. Colleen Oakley. Writer's Block Bookstore 124 E Welbourne Ave, Winter Park, Florida 32789. Join Colleen Oakley at Writer's Block Bookstore on Sunday, April 2nd as she discusses her latest book "Close Enough to Touch," an evocative, poignant, and heartrending exploration of the power and possibilities of the human heart, perfect for fans of the emotional novels of Jojo Moyes and Jodi Picoult.

4pm to 6pm Free. Outdoor Concert. Rotary Plaza at art and history center 231 Packwood Ave Maitland Fl. Maitland Stage Band.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Soul Function at Dexter's.


I used to hang out at Dexter's (558 W New England Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789) to hear the musicians who would perform there. It was a good way to unwind at the end of the week. Soul Function kept the energy up all night. The male lead singer was joined by two gorgeous female singers and they worked the harmonies. Before long couples got up to dance.

Soul Funktion is a diverse commercial dance band based in Orlando, FL. Fred Badalli, the band leader, has been a professional drummer for over 30 years. Throughout his career, he has played in the orchestras of 18 different cruise ships and played numerous musical styles including: Rock, Funk, Soul, Jazz, Blues, Country and Broadway.

The band performed a fun and energetic set primarily of covers. The primary colored stage lights divided up the band members into blue and red groupings. Several female singers joined front man Travis in delivering the vocals. it was a fun night, with the music adding life to the lines and values. I am slowly learning to let go.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Inbetween Series, David Vassalotti.


The Inbetween Series, (The Gallery At Avalon Island, 39 S Magnolia Ave, Orlando, FL) hosted David Vassalotti. The Inbetween Series happens once a month when one art show is removed from the gallery walls, and another show goes up. Unique musicians use the venue as a small concert hall. Several simple lamps acted as stage lights. A skull was on the floor with the brain cavity open.

David's music was hard edged and seemingly improvised. At times he would get on his knees to play, while electronic reverb pulsed through the foot-switch console. The friend I was with didn't much like the music, feeling it was "masturbatory." I let my mind wander as the lines danced on the page, and the electronic music helped keep the flow spontaneous.

Mark your calendar. On March 22, The Gallery at Avalon Island screened Fargo in the upstairs screening room. Fargo is the original Coen Brothers classic about "Homespun murder." The plot centers on an ill-fated plan of greed, kidnapping, extortion, and a trusty wood chipper. Doors open at 6pm, film rolled at 7pm.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Pop Up Art Sale in Winter Park


Winter Park has adopted an ordinance that makes it illegal to create art on the merchant side of Park Avenue. If you were found creating or performing on Park Avenue, an artist could face a $500 fine and or 30 days in jail. Winter Park's Central Park, however, is considered exempt from the ordinance. It allows freedom of expression. Every day a religious group has brochures on display in the park, presumably to convert passengers getting off the Sun Rail. I decided to test the ordinance by setting up a small art pop up shop on the Central Park lawn. I used a red sheet as the base for the shop, and put out a few square and circular canvases and matted prints of Analog Artist Digital World sketches. I didn't put out any price tags, so that sales were considered a donation. One sketchbook was put out for anyone to flip through, but no one touched it.

Several artists joined me and sketched while sitting on brick planters. The art was officially in the park, since it was on the grass. The artists, myself included, however, were on the sidewalk and thus might be breaking the law by sketching. I never noticed a police officer that day. It was a perfect day for an art sale. I only sold one drawing that day, which was a figure drawing.

An old man and his caretaker sat on the park bench next to the art pop up shop. The old man smiled at all the young ladies who passed by and he asked how they were. He was good for business, he slowed people down, who then looked at the art. Late in the day, I decided to test the ordinance a bit further. I put several dollar bills in my baseball cap and layed it on the carpet. Within minutes, a golf cart pulled up and a park sanitation worker got out. He frowned at the hat with several bills in it and said I wasn't allowed to exhibit art in the park. I politely explained that it wasn't his job to make that call. He decided to let the situation slide, and he drove off in the cart to collect more garbage. He didn't point out that sketching was illegal, his sole concern was the hat with money in it. I put the hat back on my head to avoid escalating the situation. I was sure the sanitation worker would think twice, and come back. He never did.


I will keep testing this ordinance that limits freedom of expression. On April 4th, I am hosting ODD 22 the Illegal Edition. ODD stands for Orlando Drink and Draw. This sketch outing, will be at The Wine Room on Park Avenue (270 S Park Ave, Winter Park, Florida 32789). We hope to sit at an outdoor table at the Wine Room and quietly sketch while sipping wine. This will be civilized civil disobedience.

Artists are lumped in with performers which means to engage in any of the following activities: acting; singing; playing musical instruments; puppetry; pantomiming, miming; performing or demonstrating magic or acts of illusion; dancing; juggling; or the public display of and composition or creation of crafts, sculpture, artistry, writings, or compositions, including the application of brush, pastel, crayon, pencil, or other similar objects applied to paper, cardboard, canvas, cloth or to other similar medium. 

Prohibited public area means the pedestrian accessed public areas of the Central Business and Hannibal Square Districts along Park Avenue from Fairbanks Avenue to Swoope Avenue, and along New England Avenue from Park Avenue to Pennsylvania Avenue including the area within fifty (50) feet of the public right-of-way of Park Avenue and New England Avenue on the public lanes, streets, thoroughfares and ways, including the Winter Park train station and the public property at what is known as the Winter Park Farmer's Market and the Winter Park Historical Association located at 200 West New England Avenue.

So, if you find this anti-art ordinance to be ridiculous, stop out with a sketchbook and pencil, and let's break the law. If anyone wants a digital "Winter Park Illegal Art" logo for their sketch, just let me know.

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Bloody Jug Band at the Florida Music Festival


The Florida Music Festival at (Wall Street Plaza II Stage, 266 Wall Street, Orlando, Florida) boasted over 125 individual showcases and promoted the community of music. Each night, the fesival invited individuals, artists and all music enthusiasts to come together to celebrate an artist or band that defines their genre. Over a dozen stages took over Downtown Orlando from Thursday, April 21 to Sunday, April 23 rocking all genres from Pop, Hip Hop and Alternative Rock to Country and Blue Grass. All participating showcase venues had free admission.

I stopped to sketch the Bloody Jug Band, a local group whose hard edged rockabilly music is always a blast to hear. The band draws inspiration from historic jug bands of the 1920’s and 30’s as well as the darker side of Blues and Rock n’ Roll.  The band carves out its own niche in a genre of music that has never seen such a bloody incarnation.

I wedged myself up against a palm tree and started drawing. There was a crowd down Wall Street, but, not much of a crowd right in front of the stage. A young girl shot photos of the band. This sketch was done just using bright primary colors to cover the page as fast as possible. Since blood is in the bands name, I decided that all the band members would be blood red.

When the sketch was done, a local female singer talked to me for a while and gave me her card. We became Facebook friends, but I still haven't sketched one of her performances. Sometimes it is hard to keep track of so much talent. I got a wrist band when I entered in the fenced off Festival venue area, but I never did get a drink. When the bloody Jug Band set was done, I just kept adding color to my sketch.  The next band had set up and was playing as I walked through the History Center Plaza towards my car to drive back home.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Blue Box Zombies.


Downtown Orlando has 27 blue boxes painted on sidewalks which are the only places where begging or panhandling is allowed. The blue boxes can only be occupied during day light hours. They tend to be at intersections where there is very little foot traffic. I have been documenting each of these blue boxes by sketching Orlando Performers using them as a stage. Some musicians who busk, or perform outside have been told that they can only perform in a blue box. I am big fan of "The Walking Dead". I have documented zombie walks on International drive and started to think, that zombies would be a perfect fit for a blue box.

Denna Beena, who helps at the annual Spooky Empire Zombie walks offered to gather some zombies for a blue box. This blue box is across from the new Amway Center. The skull zombie holding the brains sign is actually a professional who works on International Drive. Zombies gathered gradually as the sketch progressed. Some were fresh, without much rotten flesh but others were rip, with loose flaps of flesh and plenty of dirt. One had a tin can for collecting donations. Several cars honked their approval but no coins dropped into the can. A car full of tourists stopped and shot some photos out their car window. They got a taste of a typical downtown Orlando scene.

There were yellow construction posts with yellow and white ribbons between them. The zombies presses up against the ribbons but didn't leave the box. One ribbon snapped and we put it back in place once the sketch was done. One zombie had a bum leg and a very distinctive limp. Deena is the zombie with the bright pink hair. There were gallons of blood just in case a zombie wasn't bloody enough. If there were zombies in every blue box in Orlando, then perhaps people would become aware of what they are, why they are there and how ridiculous they make our city seem.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Dance Theatre of Orlando presents Change


I went to a rehearsal for Change at ME Theatre (Marshall Ellis Theatre) 1300 La Quinta Drive #3, Orlando, Florida 32809. The choreography was by Marshall Ellis, and the show featured the popular hard hitting music of Bon Jovi. I recognized every tune. Many of the stage lights pointed right out at the audience, so my baseball hat was critical in blocking my eyes from the direct light. Light mist made the rays visible.

No more excuses. No more magical thinking. No more self-sabotage. You know it won’t be easy, but so what? You’re committed to the goal. Love is the only thing that can make a change in your life. The story line was supported by original video sequences, many of which were shot in the neighborhood. The story followed,a young man who was breaking out and starting life on his own. He lived loud and spiraled as he frequented dance halls. He eventually found true love which is how his life got back on track. The most beautiful dance sequence feature the female lead. Her performance was powerful and lyrical, truly inspired.


There are two more performances of Change.
Tickets are available.
Tonight, Saturday March 25 at 8:30pm.
Sunday March 26 at 8:30pm.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Weekend Top 6 Picks for March 25th and 26th.

Saturday March 25, 2017
8pm to 11:30pm Free. Later Never Now - Album Release Show. The Geek Easy 114 S Semoran Blvd, Ste 6, Winter Park, Florida 32792. Milk Carton Superstars celebrate the release of their new album, Later Never Now, with this show at The Geek Easy, Saturday, March 25. Joining them on the bill are The Marc With a C Trio and Jordan Esker and the Hundred Percent.
Later Never Now is a collection of sound waves captured during 28 recording sessions which took place over a 10-month period. It is presented as a 38-minute album of recorded music by Milk Carton Superstars, consisting of 15 songs ranging from one to four minutes in individual duration. It features an assemblage of instrumentation and vocalization provided by the songwriters and accompanying participants. It exists digitally as well as in 12-inch vinyl and compact disc formats, the latter two of which will be available at this show.

9pm to 11pm Free. Nerd Nite Scribble Fest. 1915 E Colonial Dr Orlando, Florida 32803. Headliner announcement: O_Super. Nerd Nite, formed in 2003, is an evening of entertaining yet thought-provoking presentations– all while the audience drinks along in a casual atmosphere.
Speakers present for 15-20 minutes each on a fascinating subject, often in an uncanny and unconventional way. Following each presentation is a brief Q and A with the audience. Nerd Nite currently operates in over 106 cities around the world.

10:30pm to 12:30pm Get a drink and some food.  Son Flamenco. Ceviche Tapas Orlando, 125 W Church St, Orlando, FL Hot blooded Flamenco dancing to live guitar.

Sunday March 26, 2017
10am to 4pm Free. Lake Eola Farmers Market. Lake Eola Park, East Washington Street, Orlando, FL.

Noon to 2pm Free. Florida Gospel Jam. Fish on Fire 7937 Daetwyler Drive Belle Isle FL. Every 2nd and 4th Sunday.

2pm to 4pm Free but order coffee. Irish Music. Olivia's Coffee House, 108 N Bay St, Eustis, FL.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Mike Quick Band at Dexters.

I once had a friend in Winter Park who liked to hang out at Dexter's (558 West New England Avenue Winter Park FL 32789). She liked to sit at the bar and read. Men would always approach to find out what she was reading. It was her form of a Venus Fly Trap. The printed page was always more interesting. She was a very private person who liked being out in public. She also liked to hang out and listen to live music. On this evening, the Mike Quick Band was performing. During the performance a few people would get up and dance. Once a few bodies were moving on the dance floor, others could follow. It was a lively night.

Mike Quick performed on guitar and vocals, Annie Piper was on bass, Juliano Rosa was on drums and Paul Brandenburg was on Sax. Their website stated that they are searching for new ways to express themselves, through the instrument of soul. Isn't that what we all are trying to accomplish? Tips went in a bucket. It is fun to sketch when the beat is right because the lines dance on the page often falling where they should without any thought. After a beer or two, and a complete sketch, I was willing to get up and dance alone in the crowd with my eyes closed, forgetting everyone around me and moving to the beat. The room was hot and the music oozed through my pores. Movement and self expression are always good, be in on a small scale or on a dance tight floor.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Life Insurance

I teach drawing fundamentals at Elite Animation Academy, (8933 Conroy Windermere Road Orlando Fl). Sometimes I teach story boarding, digital painting in Photoshop, and traditional hand drawn animation. This Academy has been growing with a new space opened in Tampa. With this new growth, the founders decided to offer a free life insurance police for employees.

After a full day of teaching, the insurance agent sat down with each employee to explain their coverage. As I waited for my turn, I sketched the conference in progress with Jason and his R2D2 lunch bucket. I had just recently separated from my wife, so it made no sense to list her as my beneficiary. The reality of this seismic change became became weighty as the life insurance policy was explained. There is only one way out of this life. My hands have a price.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Elite Perspective Class


At Elite Animation Academy, 8933 Conroy Windermere Road, I teach a drawing fundamentals class for middle school and high school kids who are getting portfolios together for college. In the last class I was pleased that an adult was brace enough to sit in with the kids to refine his drawing skills. this class was about 1 Point, 2 Point and 3 Point Perspective. There were plenty of drawings done with rulers to define a floor plane, but I also encouraged the kids to also look for perspective angles with a looser eye.

In the early classes they often sketched from maquettes of movie animated characters. In this class they then had to lay out a floor plane grid and try to sketch multiple characters on that grid. It is the essence of what I do sketching on location every day. People become pieces on a chess board and I place them where I need them in the composition. I can't resist the temptation to sketch when the students are really engaged in their work. My sketch employee the same principles as the lesson plan on a larger scale than the assignment. Students gestures fascinate me.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Mina remembers Eddie Justice

Mina Justice is the mother of Eddie Justice who was one of the 49 people who died at Pulse nightclub on June 12, 2016. She recently moved into a new home in a suburban development that is just now being built. Pam Schwartz and I drove through the development which was mostly barren earth with driveways leading to nowhere. Surveyors were dividing up the plots of dirt.

That Saturday of June 12, Mina was working. She had 3 retail jobs to get by. He stopped by her place that day at 1:45pm and Eddie mentioned that he planned to go out that night. She always supported his lifestyle and he had a way of always breathing life and humor into a room. ''I got to enjoy him for 30 years, my son and me were like this." She hugged herself.

That evening at 2:05am she got a text from her son, it read, "Mommy I love you". He let her know that "They are in the club, they are shooting."  He let her know that he was in the woman's bathroom and that others were hurt. "I can hear the man coming, He will shoot me. Tell them to hurry up mom. I'm gonna die." Mina asked if the shooter was in the bathroom with Eddie, his reply was, "He's a terror and then the final message at 2:51 said, "Yes."

Mina jumped into her car after those texts and drove to Pulse. It is a long drive but she managed to get there in 9 minutes. She was driving fast. When she got close to Pulse, others were gathered, not knowing what was happening. Then she heard a loud boom. She ran down the road crying. She hugged strangers who were in as much pain. "He was the sixth person taken out, it was a nightmare." She said. Jennifer Nichols, a Pulse employee stayed with her all night long. Ultimately the FBI questioned Mina and she had to tell the story again. She has avoided the media, and moving into the new home helped isolate her.

"Since that night nothing has been the same. My heard is dark." She said. She hasn't been able to work. Her life is on hold. She showed Pam and I her son's room in the new home. The bed was neatly made and the room immaculate. A four foot high portrait of him hung on the wall. She asked us what we noticed most about the portrait and she pointed out his eyes. They seem to follow you, and there is joy in them. Eddie has never been in the room but it stands as a reminder of his warmth. The hallway was was covered in family photos.  He could be seen with his brother and sisters and he was holding Mina in another shot. Her son is with her everywhere she goes.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Ballet Class


I went to Emotions Dance Company, (105 Melody Lane West Casselberry Fl) to sit in and sketch a ballet class. This is the most difficult subject imaginable for a sketch artist since the dancers are in constant motion, but I can't resist the challenge. all the dancers face a mirrored wall so they can see their own form as they move. My challenge is to sketch each dancers unique physique. I'm always amazed by dancers dexterity and endurance. It makes me feel like a bit of a lull as I sit and only move my hand across the page. Orlando has a large dance community probably because of the theme parks and cruise ships. Many dances are very young since you reach your prime in the dance business at an early age. To maintain a life long career, a dancer would have to teach to nurture the dreams of a new generation.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival


I went to the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival and arrived shortly after noon of the first day. I found a nice spot on the merchant side of the street from which to do a sketch. Officially, I was breaking the law, that says no art can be created on that side of Park Avenue. I had my back to several magazine stands which kept any passers by from looking over my shoulder. Melissa Marie McCain had said she would be there and I do believe I saw a large feather plume in the crowd that had to be heard. I need to give her a commissioned piece called "The Rainbow Connection". It documents the many rainbows I have sketched in the wake of the Pulse shooting. The notion of locating someone in the crude at this festival is insane. The artist whose boot I sketched did the most amazingly photo real still life's. I jotted his name down in my cell phone, and spell check changed it to shouting. That isn't his name at all.

My favorite art in the show was by R. Michael Wommack. They were large pastels that showed areal views of suburbs at night. Each home had a glowing green pool it the backyards and clouds were unified puffs. An occasional window would have the blue glow of a television. They were all haunting and quite amazing. I stopped to talk to Stacy Barter, a Winter Park plain air painter. She had some amazing painting of a construction site. I asked her where the site was and she said she had gone to where the Whole Foods was being constructed on Orlando Avenue just north of Lee Road. It is the type of scene that attracts me as well. Don Santag had sold a large sunset painting of one of the canals that connect the many lakes in Winter Park. He confided that the Disney Feature Animation background painters had inspired his work. Seeping his large work made me want to start painting big.

I left for the festival with many layers because the morning temperatures were down in the 40s. By the time I left, it must have been almost 80 degrees. I was overdressed. I got a chicken gyro for lunch along with a green drink, Mountain Dew. Oh yes, I forgot to mention. The opening day of the Winter Park Art Festival fell on Saint Patrick's day this year. There were plenty of people wearing green. My Nantucket hat was green as was my artist stool. I decided to paint the sketch only using green and Orange.I was told Orange is the color of Northern Ireland. My mothers family came from Corr Ireland in the south, so there is more green in the sketch than orange.

The Winter Park Sidewalk Festival continues today and tomorrow from 9am to 5pm. There is plenty of amazing art to see so be sure to check it out. Just don't sketch on the merchant side of Park Avenue, you risk a $500 fine and 30ndays in jail. If you do happen to sketch, let me know and I'll send you the Winter Park Illegal Art logo to emblazon your image.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Weekend Top 6 Picks for March 18th and 19th.

Saturday March 18, 2017
9am to 6pm. Free. Saturday and Sunday Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival. Central Park in Winter Park. By City Ordinance, no pets are allowed in Central Park at any time nor on Park Avenue between New England and Canton Avenues during regular Festival hours. Also by City Ordinance, no artists may create while on the merchant side of Park Avenue sidewalks during the festival or at any other time.

10am to 4pm. Free. Commander's Call. Museum of Military History 5201 West Irlo Bronson Highway Kissimmee, FL 34746 This ongoing program is held on the 3rd Sat of each month is designed to appeal to families, military memorabilia collectors, history buffs, re-enactors and others interested in military history. In addition, persons interested in displaying, trading or selling their military items such as honor coins, swords, photographs, military buttons, scale model boats & planes, military art, uniforms or other equipment register in advance by calling the museum to reserve a spot. Re-enactors & veterans are welcome to come in uniform to add to the history & authenticity of the military experience. Non-military booths such as health care providers, home improvement, local attractions or other businesses are invited to be vendors for minimal donation. 
INFO and Register: 407-507-3894 or to register your table space.

4pm to 8pm Free.  Cruisin' Downtown DeLand Car Show! East Indiana Ave Downtown DeLand, Deland FL. Classic cars & rods.  Live DJ, giveaways, shopping & dining. Fun for the family! Every 3rd Saturday night!
INFO: & for showing your car 386-738-0649

Sunday March 19, 2017
10am to 4pm Free. Lake Eola Farmers Market. South East corner of Lake Eola Park.

9am to 5pm. Free. Saturday and Sunday Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival. Central Park in Winter Park. By City Ordinance, no pets are allowed in Central Park at any time nor on Park Avenue between New England and Canton Avenues during regular Festival hours. Also by City Ordinance, no artists may create while on the merchant side of Park Avenue sidewalks during the festival or at any other time.

10pm to midnight Free, but get a coffee. Comedy Open Mic. Austin's Coffee, 929 W Fairbanks Ave, Winter Park, FL. Free comedy show! Come out & laugh, or give it a try yourself.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Corporate 5K.


While driving through the Milk District, traffic backed up due to a corporate 5k run. Rather than get inpatient or upset, I decided to park my car on a side street and walk over to watch the racers run up Bumby and turn onto Roseland. Police were at the intersection with a motorcycle to keep the peace. Several racers shouted out to thank them for their public service. As I sketched the sun sank in the west casting ever longer shadows. Runners slowly dwindled until there were only walkers and the final staggerers made their way towards Lake Eola. Such runs happen fairly often and signs warn locals about the road closures.

Hoods Up is an abandoned gas station and auto repair shop. With huge development happening in the Milk District, this corner lot is sure to become something new soon. My guess would be a luxury apartment building. A tiny birdhouse was perched on the stop light pole. It is likely the work of local artist Brendan O'Connor. I'm surprised the police weren't shimmying up to take it down. It must be against code.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Gods and Monsters the Mercury Collective.

Gods and Monsters (in the Artegon Market Place) and The PAR Group, LLC, presented "The Mercury Collective -- Premier Launch Party" The evening was promoted as an artistic development and networking event, with some of Orlando's best emerging music artists and media creatives. "A New Hip-Hop, Soul, and R&B Renaissance."

I arrived at the start of the event and didn't notice any creatives or Hip-Hop musicians. I sat down and started drawing the guys at the next table playing a role-play board game. Star Wars and Super Hero figurines lined the shelves, and edgy local art hung on the walls. This dark industrial room was a busy and fun to draw. The Artegon Market Place was shut down last month, so this venue no longer exists. All the vendors were told to leave, wondering what had happened.

I had sat in on the early promotions before Artegon opened. It sounded like an amazing opportunity for local artists and crafters to present their wares to tourists on International Drive. I was considering renting a space. The mall that preceded Artegon was always empty, with most stores closed with a color banner covering the storefront to represent what it would look like if people shopped there. The foot traffic didn't increase much when Artegon opened. There were random beer-tasting events that I went to sketch, But Gods and Monsters was always the best draw.

Inside was a gallery where local artists presented their work. The good news is that Gods and Monsters (5421 International Dr,, Orlando, Florida 32819) is still open along with the other larger shops like Bass Pro Shop and the Cinemark Movie Theater. The next event I want to sketch at Gods and Monsters is a Retro Futuristic Electro Swing Party. That starts on Friday, March 10th, at 10:30 p.m.-2:00 a.m. It will be an evening of entertainment and fashion from Ocular Hysteria. Admission is $5 at the door. There will be Go-Go Dancing and grinder performances from DefenzMechanizm throughout the night, Antique beats provided by Joseph Vourteque Ringmaster / MC Director/Producer at ROUGE Electro Swing & Cabaret Chicago/Detroit. Costumes are encouraged, Photo ops and prizes!! There will be vendors and artists.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Star Wars A New Hope theme night


I went to a Star Wars theme night at The Woods, (49 N Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32801) in the hopes of sketching a true to life intergalactic cantina scene. I assumed there would be aliens of every shape and form along with Wookies and the occasional Jedi knight. I arrived early and found a spot with a good view of the bar. Then I went downstairs to grab a burger for dinner.

Justin Levaughn created a specialty cocktail menu that was indeed out of this world. I ordered a Darth Vader and I watched as they ignited the creation and snuffed it out just before searching. This sinister drink had a kick and a subtle hint of cinnamon which might have been a hint that deep inside there might be a touch of good. The Princess Lea was pink and fruity. Of course I had to taste as many as possible to round out my experience. At 7pm Star Wars A New Hope lit up the large screen TV at the end of the bar. Bar tenders and patrons alike were transfixed as John Williams fan fair announced the beginning of the drama. Droid scattered and lasers flashed as the peaceful cruiser was engulfed by a huge Star cruiser. I didn't stay to watch the full film. I've seen it more times than I can count but it never looses its luster. The truly strange intergalactic crown was staggering around on Orange Avenue. One belligerent drunk was being escorted down the street by his buddies. I steered clear, because he was itching for a fight with any alien or droid in his path.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Audubon Park Farmers Market


Every Monday as the sun sets, vendors set up in the Stardust Video and Coffee (1842 Winter Park Rd, Orlando, FL 32803) parking lot for the Audubon Community Market. There was no pressing event that needed to be sketched, so I got a vegan hot dog and started sketching. It is nice sometimes to just relax and watch the shadows lengthen as world grows orange. You can find locally grown produce no hand crafted jewelry from local artists. There is something new every week.

Inside Stardust most people stare at their computers either working or playing, it is hard to tell the difference. I have been gathering tax documents the past few days. Trying to log into an online banking system, I had to navigate a maze of passwords. Although I have a long analog list on several sheets of paper, those passwords which I religiously wrote down, never seem to match the digital reality. I'm asked for the street I grew up on when I was three and I remember but my answer isn't accepted. My mothers maiden name? Of course I know that but in the digital world the names don't match. How much of my life is being wasted chasing false leads and running in circles chasing digital ghosts in the machine? Around tax season these digital walls seem overwhelming.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Rumi for the Soul.


I went to the Nur Spirituality Corner (3950 S us 17-92, suite 2000, Casselberry, FL) for a gathering centered on meditation, spiritual discussion, and finding peace and inner healing. Omar lead the discussion following a direct approach, in the footsteps of Rumi, prophetic teachings, and other spiritual masters, to awaken to what is already here and now: The Loving Divine Presence. Everyone from any background and tradition was welcome.

 Rumi (1207 to 1273), was a 13th-century Persian Sunni Muslim poet, jurist, Islamic scholar, theologian, and Sufi mystic. His influence transcends national borders and ethnic divisions: Iranians, Tajiks, Turks, Greeks, Pashtuns, other Central Asian Muslims, and the Muslims of South Asia have greatly appreciated his spiritual legacy for the past seven centuries.

The evening involved a spiritual lesson, chanting or and silent meditation, followed by an opportunity to reflect and share. The discussion centered around how some people perceive something with no love and no mercy. He told a story of a fishing trip. The fisherman sat in his small boat all day without catching anything. Then, as the sun set and the clouds illuminated a bright orange, he witnessed a playful pod of dolphins that leaped up from the water all around his boat. What had seemed like a wasted day was now glorious. We are all worthy of feeling that glory. Whenever there is hardship, good shall follow. The goal is to remain grateful.

"The pure one is plunged in love of the glorious, he is plunged in the light which is unbegotten. Go seek a love like this, if you are alive; otherwise, you are a slave to the changing 'time'". -Rumi  It amazes me that Trump America is spreading hate for Islam. If only people would look and see before they judge. It seems insane to hate someone you haven't met.

The woman in a shawl closest to me became curious about my sketch. It turns out she is a graphic designer and knew of my work. The evening ended with a shared meal. Little girls played quietly and boys rushed about. Mothers and fathers relaxed enjoying each others company. The meal was delicious and I met a former New Yorker who lamented the loss of culture since she moved to Orlando. I tried to convince her that there is plenty of culture to to be found if you look hard enough.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Taking your Pulse town hall meeting

Orlando Regional Medical Center (ORMC), the hospital that treated most of the Pulse survivors, hosted a Pulse town hall meeting at the hospital just a few blocks north of Pulse. I had to ask the valet which building the meeting was in and he pointed me in the right direction. The entry had a metal detector so I had to empty my pockets and assure the guard that pencils are not weapons. The way to the meeting room was long and winding. I was a bit late, since I had rushed to the hospital after teaching a class. As I slipped in the Town Hall meeting was already underway.

WMFE’s Matthew Peddie spoke with survivors, first responders, city officials and LGBT/Latinx community leaders.The first panelists were Christopher Hanson who was in the club and survived, Dr. Joshua Corsa, Orlando Health, who wrote the viral post about his blood-soaked shoes, and Nurse Emily Brown, of Orlando Health.

Christopher Hanson was asked about his experience on the evening of June 12, and he briefly described his night. I have heard two interviews and was amazed at how brief he kept his account. Nurse Emily Brown, described her evening if hiding when reports surfaced that there might be a shooter in the hospital. She had been told that things were about to get crazy and then 36 patients arrived in the first 36 minuted. There was no time to think. Dr. Joshua Corsa was asked about his sneakers. He worked for 30 hours straight trying to save lives and when he finally had a moment to reflect, he realized his brand new sneakers were blood soaked. He wore that same pair of sneakers every day until the last survivor left the hospital.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orlando Police Department Chief John Mina were the next people on stage. Speaking about a future memorial, Buddy pointed out that the community process is in some ways more important than the final creation. Everyone should have input into the process.A sculptor submitted a sculpture honoring the Pulse victims but the mayor said that it wasn't his place to decide what art is appropriate.An audience member stood and asked about what measures are being taken to keep undocumented LGBT survivors safe from being deported if they turn to authorities for help. Chief Mina pointed out that Orlando police have never been involved in deportation. It isn't their job. Seattle began a program called the Safe Place Initiative which puts rainbow stickers on businesses that support different cultures and diversity. That program will be implemented in Orlando. A woman from the audience stood up to the mic and spoke of the fierce love that came from our city government. Our community experienced a strong commitment to love and that message remains strong today.

The final panelists were Christopher Cuevas, Executive Director of QLatinx and Terry DeCarlo, Executive Director of GLBT Community Center of Central Florida. Christopher feels that people are still struggling in isolation. "Thousands of voices need to be echoed from the mountain tops." he said. Terry was outraged by the media's insistence that the 911 tapes be aired on TV. He also hated the video reenactment that was created recently. He warned as many people as he could, but a mom was making dinner in the kit hen and overheard her son on a 911 tape. That level of emotional damage is irreparable. He wished that the media could instead celebrate the lives lost, and share the stories of heros. He was thankful to those who bear witness.

The evening was part of Story Corps: Taking Your Pulse project and the first of a series of Dare to Listen events held in the community on tough topics in 2017. The long sterile hospital hallways felt strangely ominous as I navigated the maze back towards my car.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Weekend Top 6 Picks for March 11th and 12th.

Saturday March 11, 2017
4pm to 6pm Free. Young Voices. JB Callaman Center 102 North Parramore Ave Orlando FL. Teen Open Mic Every second Saturday of the Month.

6pm to 8pm Free. Artborne Monthly Party. Spacebar 2428 E Robinson St, Orlando, Florida 32803. The March 2017 issue of Artborne Magazine features the confrontational imagery of Becky Flanders, Chris Carr’s Reflective photo series, and the “natural glitches” of Brooks Dierdorff.
Also in the March Issue:
Architecture: Polytechnic University
From the Desk of Pat Greene Mike Kelly House
Spotlight Jim Leatherman
Spotlight Derek Demeter
Out of Towner Rosemarie Romero
Literature: Sherdes Leona
First Contact: Chakra Kahn
Fashion: Freehand Goods
Curatorial Perspective: Around Town
Review: Bo Bartlett
6:00PM Bidding for Artborne proof posters (size 40"x28") -View Event Discussion for poster images available.
7:00PM Performance by The Timucua Arts white house
7:45PM 'Bring Your Own Vinyl': Sign-up sheet at entrance.

 7:30pm to 9:30pm Welcome Potluck Dinner for Shasta Grant. Kerouac House 1418 Clouser Ave, Orlando, Florida 32804. Please join us in welcoming Kerouac House Spring resident Shasta Grant. This event is a potluck dinner, so please bring something to eat and/or drink and share.
Shasta Grant is the author of Gather Us Up and Bring Us Home, a chapbook forthcoming from Split Lip Press, and the 2016 Smoke Long Quarterly Kathy Fish Fellow. Winner of the 2015 Kenyon Review Short Fiction Contest, judged by Ann Patchett, her stories and essays have appeared in cream city review, Epiphany, Hobart, Pithead Chapel, wig leaf, and elsewhere. She has an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and divides her time between Singapore and Indianapolis.

Sunday March 12, 2017
Noon to 1pm Free. Yoga. Lake Eola lawn near red gazebo.  Bring your own mat.

1pm to 5pm Free. Family Day. The Mennello Museum of American Art, 900 East Princeton Street, Orlando, FL 32803. The make-and-take craft table is open from noon-2:30 p.m., and docents are available to give mini-tours of the museum. Then it's open house in the galleries until 4:30 p.m.

6pm to 8pm Free. Spring Pops Race for Space. Central Park, West Morse Boulevard, Winter Park, FL. Free Philharmonic Concert.



Thursday, March 9, 2017

Sustainability Mural.


LeAnn Siefferman invited three artists to collaborate on a sustainability mural for the City of Orlando and Green Build Media on January 9, 2017. I was a participating artist along with Gladiola Sotomayor, Halsi and Charles Mighty. At our first mural meeting at Henao Contemporary Center, we each talked about our ideas about sustainability and how they might be visualized in the mural. We each created a few rough sketches on the spot, which acted as inspiration for the final mural concept. A second meeting I couldn't attend, but Gladiola and Halsi worked on a more refined concept. I was sent that concept and layered my own ideas on top. Working in LeAnn's garage, Gladiola and Halsi blew up the development sketch across four large boards. The next day I added my contributions using large Sharpies. 

On the morning of the sustainability conference in the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, the panels were set up and ready to paint. Large drop cloths were taped down to protect the carpeting. We spent the entire day adding color with house paints and layering on more details under the watchful eyes of conference attendees. There was free coffee all day, which kept me wired. Most of my contributions consisted of showing Lake Eola, the skyline, and the "Patriot Garden" house in College Park. 

As the mural was being painted, LeAnn spoke to conference attendees about how the mural depicted sustainability. Sustainability is not just about making decisions today that prevent negative impacts tomorrow, but about making decisions that improve our tomorrows as well. Sustainability calls for love, respect and justice for the natural environment, for our communities and neighbors, and for ourselves and our families. She said each of you embodied these qualities in your work and in your personal statement, and expressed sincere desire to connect with and improve your community through the arts.

The mission of Green Build Media is to effect meaningful, positive change for a better world. As advocates for sustainability, they provide mind-expanding information that catalyzes and inspires commitment to sustainable living. Hopefully, the mural helped promote that idea.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Blue Box 13.

Angel Jones, an arts advocate and fashion designer, volunteered to be in the Blue Box Initiative. She occupied Blue Box 13 which is on Jefferson Street near North Orange Avenue.

For those that don't know, Orlando has 27 Blue Boxes painted on the sidewalks. These are considered exempt zones, which means panhandling is allowed. Performers who bus downtown have been told by police that they must move to a blue box. Most of these boxes are in areas of downtown where there is virtually no foot traffic. I have decided to sketch every blue box with Orlando's most talented artists and performers.

Angel didn't want to ride her motorcycle downtown in her costume, although that would have been a sight. She designed and sewed her outfit. She owns a fashion company called Bazzar Bazzar. I drove her to the location. As we walked around Lake Eola she showed me what this whole Pokeman Go phenomenon is all about. I have seen crowds of people in the park staring at the phones, and not paying attention to what is go in on around them. The game depicts a simplified version of the park in which Pokeman characters appear. She showed me how to throw an object at the character. If you hit the character, you get points. You can also place a lure which will attract characters to your location. For the duration of her time in the blue box Angel looked at her bright pink smart phone. For all I know, she might have been surrounded by Pokemon characters dancing at her feet.

I have about 10 more Blue Boxes to sketch. If you know of a performer who would like to participate, please let me know.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Inspiration Orlando Mural to be unveiled at Pulse.


Mural artist Michael Pilato came to Orlando shortly after the awful night on June 12th, 2016 at the Pulse Nightclub. He and  Yuriy Karabash have been working non-stop on research and development as well as producing a piece of art with some of the stories of the 49 victims the survivors and beyond.

Barbara Poma owner of Pulse, announced that on the one year anniversary, the mural that Michael and Yuriy are working on will be on display at Pulse before it goes to a destination not yet decided. Some hand prints and messages will be added. The panels are starting to pull together nicely as a unified whole.

A number of local artists have contributed to the mural.On Tuesdays, artists are invited to the studio above Anthony's Pizzeria on colonial Drive and Mills Avenue. I sketched as artists arrived. Angel Jones, an arts activist, and owner of a fashion bazaar talked to Michael and committed to return and add elements to one of the panels. Colin Boyer stopped in to paint on one of the portraits he did for the 49 portrait project I had organized. All the artists who participated in that project were invited to work on Michael's Inspiration Orlando Mural. There was a $100 stipend for contribution artists.

Monday, March 6, 2017

An interview with Lexi Schultz.


Lexi Schultz was the girlfriend of Louis Velma. Louis lost his life on the evening of June 12th, 2016 at the horrific mass shooting at the Pulse Nightclub. 49 people died that night.

Born in Minnesota Lexi was raised in Texas. In her senior year in high school, she got a job at Universal Studios Florida. She and Louis worked at Disaster: A Major Motion Picture Ride...Starring You! which was a dark ride tram tour. Set on a sound stage of a fictitious movie company, Disaster! was a based on the park's former Earthquake: The Big One ride, which comically illustrated how special effects are filmed for use in movies. The attraction's climax cast the riders as movie extras for a movie finale scene involving an earthquake in a subway station. Using high-speed editing techniques, the riders got to see themselves in the form of a movie trailer that included film sequences shot throughout the attraction's pre-show and main ride. On September 8, 2015 the ride closed to make use for Fast and Furious: Supercharged. When Disaster! closed, Louis suggested to Lexi that they should continue to see each other. They dated for two years.

At the time of the Pulse  shooting Louis age 22, worked at Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride at Universal.  Lexi was in Guyana Africa on the evening of June 12, 2016 on a Christian Mission Trip. Louis was with Laura, a mutual friend that night at Pulse. Laura was shot twice in the back and abdomen. The bullets missed her liver and spinal chord. Amazingly she survived the night.

When Lexi got the news about the shooting, she kept refreshing the list of victims names on her phone. After many tries, his name suddenly appeared. She collapsed. She couldn't believe he was gone. She felt numb for a really long time. The flight back and then the viewing of the casket were a surreal blur. J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series sent roses to Louis's funeral.

"What gave him the right to take all these lives?" Lexi asked. "Love one another instead of hating so much."


Sunday, March 5, 2017

Opulence at Barefoot Spa.


"Opulence" features the work of 25 Central Florida artists. The connecting theme of this show is the use of "rooms of spectacular opulence" in art. Included are paintings, sculptures, photography and multi media pieces. The collection is diverse vibrant and interesting with plenty of golden colors. This show will be up for the months of February and March at The Barefoot Spa (801 Virginia, Orlando FL, 32803). Hours are 10am to 5pm daily (closed Sundays).

The reception was on Saturday February 25th from 6 to 9 PM. Most of the artists were available at the reception. I have a painting on exhibit in this show, so I stopped by the opening reception to sketch. My painting is of the National Arts Club in NYCParker Sketch has several paintings in the show. He shared old photos on his phone of his punk days with an incredibly tall Mohawk haircut.  His parents got divorced when he was a tee and he decided to live a homeless lifestyle for a summer not because he had to, but for the experience. His parents never missed him. He explained how you have to sleep in a park during the day since you would get kicked out at night. This rock bottom conversation was a nice stark contrast to the opulence on display. One of Parker's painting had alternating stripes of gold and gold sparkle paint bands with a painting of a highball drink as the center of interest.

LK Phipps, a fine art digital photographer was curious a bow my digital sketch.  She told me about an Art and Algorithm show that sounds intriguing. With the sketch done, I relaxed and enjoyed the company of friends for a while.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Tape by Stephen Belber


Tape by Stephen Belber tells the story of Jon (Joey Ginel), an aspiring filmmaker on the verge of hitting it big, hooks up for the weekend with his best friend from high school, Vince (Zack Roundy), a volunteer fireman who makes his money selling dope. Jon's new film is being shown at a festival in Lansing, Michigan, and Vince has come from Oakland to see it. During the course of the pre-show Zack lived in the space watching to and rolling a joint.

Over the course of the evening, Vince finally gets Jon to admit that ten years ago he date-raped Amy Randall (Megan Raitano), a girl whom they both dated in high school—only then to reveal that he's taped their entire conversation. And not only that, he's invited Amy to have dinner with them that night.

Beneath its suspenseful, high-stakes surface, Tape examines questions of motive, memory, truth and perception.

Zack is very believable as a directionless youth with a short fuse. He becomes menacing when confronting his friend head on. Joey comes across as someone who can rationalize anything. He feels his films serve a greater purpose so it is surprising when his dark youth is unearthed. Megan's role was an inspired surprise. Now a District Attorney she never seemed to be a victim. Instead she confronted and cornered both men with her wits and anger. No one stands on solid ground when she sparked to life. This was a stellar production that kept me guessing. I have to give credit to the set designer Sam DiGeorge. She creates incredible lived in and worn sets that suspend disbelief and immerse the audience in a very visceral world. It is amazing how she transformed the space.

The Show runs from March 3rd-March 19th
Theater on the Edge 5542 Hansel Avenue Orlando FL 32792
Tickets are $19 and $22
Remaining show dates.
March 4th 8 pm
March 5th 2pm
March 10th 8 pm
March 12th 2 pm
March 15th 7 pm (industry night)
March 18th 2 pm
March 18th 8 pm
March 19th 2 pm (closing night)
Seating is limited!

Friday, March 3, 2017

Weekend Top 6 Picks for March 4th and 5th.

Saturday March 4, 2017
4pm to 7pm Free. Jazz in the Park. Cypress Grove Park 290 Holden Avenue Orlando FL

7pm to 9pm Free. Brewery Tour. Orlando Brewing, 1301 Atlanta Ave, Orlando, FL

10:30pm to 12:30pm Free but order food and drink. Son Flamenco. Ceviche Tapas Orlando, 125 W Church St, Orlando, FL.

Sunday March 5, 2017
Noon to 5pm Free. Second Annual Festa Italiana. Venue on the Lake 641 S Maitland Ave, Maitland, Florida 32751. To promote Italian culture in Central Florida. Lots of good food and drink, live music and dancing. We will feature a display of luxury Italians cars and vendors who will showcase their Italian products.

Noon to 1pm Free. Yoga. Lake Eola near red gazebo. Bring your own mat. Large group practicing yoga on the green lawn.

10pm to Midnight Free but get d coffee. Comedy Open Mic. Austin's Coffee, 929 W Fairbanks Ave, Winter Park, FL. Free comedy show! Come out & laugh, or give it a try yourself.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Flamingo Run.

New Year's day of 2017 I went to the Flamingo 5K Beach Run at New Smyrna Beach. The registration started at 8am shortly after sunrise at the Flagler Avenue Beach approach. Cars hadn't driven on the beach yet. This 5K race, like no other, started at 9am and took place along the beautiful hard-packed beach.

Runners, walkers, and joggers participated in this chip-timed race. Medals in 84 categories and two overall plaques were awarded, as well as prizes for the best costumes. The best costumes I saw consisted of huge pink inflatable tires around women's waists along with elegant flamingo heads that could be manipulated like puppets. There was no excuse not to break out the pink boas. Finisher medals were awarded to the first 500 runners.

To celebrate the New Year and get runners started on their  resolutions, the first 300 runners each received a key. At the post-race social, the keys could possibly unlock one of 10 new Beach Cruiser bicycles and if the key opened the lock, then the runner kept the bike.

Race proceeds benefited Southern Stone Charities.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Story Club

“Orlando Story Club at The Abbey, (100 South Eola Drive, Orlando, FL 32801) returned this year giving anyone who wishes to tell a personal story a chance to put their name in a hat, to be selected at random to showcase their story telling for the enrichment of the local community.  The January event theme was “Life’s Lessons” and the benefiting charity was Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Florida.  This month’s event featured special guest storyteller and host Daniel Pacchioni and a performance by AdLib Theater.

Jack Graham told his life lesson story that involved stories told around a camp fire. People from all walks of life came together and connected on a special moonlit evening. I was convinced his story would hold first place but it eventually was usurped by a woman's story about her father who drank heavily and her step father who she never truly appreciated until it was too late. Her emotional story awakened a desire to always appreciate those that are important in life. Never take for granted a single moment. Mark your calendar, the next Story Club is Wednesday March 1st from 7pm to 9pm at the Abbey, 100 Suoth Eola Drive 3100 Orlando Florida. This month's theme is " I just had to have it."