Gene Joyner build a rain forest in West Palm Beach that few have visited. Called Unbelievable Acres Botanic Gardens, it is open to the public by appointment or on select tour dates. Featuring rare tropical fruits, foliage plants, flowers, trees and a host of other botanical creatures, many of which you have not seen. Running around are a host of reptiles that love the heat and humidity, in addition to a bountiful supply of bugs. Its a treasure.
This leaf has a name. I cannot remember all Gene taught me. Years ago, he was the botanist for the State of Florida. This garden/rain forest was built from scratch, by him. You have never seen anything like it.
So I walk around with a camera, using it to document the race, humans etc. It may not make me smarter or stronger, but I feel better about life. Meeting and talking with others makes me less stupid and more aware how we are all different. I don’t ask for stories. I ask if I can help. Felix didn’t want help. He said he was ready to die. No one knows for sure, if he went. I learned when I went to the food pantry and my images of him were on the door. Last people heard, he had been taken to a hospice.
Felix lived here, right off the highway. He lived in the woods. He could have had a place if he wanted one.
His front yard.
Garage and reading room.
We need more taco stands in Boynton Beach. I would open one, earning money to supplement my social security and meagre pension, but I don’t know how to make a taco.
I am also trying to remember the last time I ate a taco. Unfortunately, there aren’t stands on every corner. Lyons Road, the main road next to my community, features a hot dog truck that sells a variety of sausages. I don’t believe that non-kosher franks are healthy. Are tacos?
So, I am walking out of a diner and I see this beautiful woman with her home care worker. I ask if I can take her picture. The home care worker says yes. She tells me the woman’s name is Gussie and she will be 100 in a week.
I take a picture with the home care attendant.
Then the daughter appears. I take another picture. The daughter asks me if I will come to the birthday party and take pictures. I say no, I don’t do events, but if you come to my studio, I will make portrait and give you a print at no charge.
I give the daughter my card. I tell her if she sends me an e-mail with an address, I will send her a print and a digital file for no money. Haven’t heard from her. And, don’t know her name.
Maybe it’s the time. She might think I am some kind of nut. Who after all would want to make portraits of old women?
Home. Haven’t really settled in, even though we have been here for a year. Went to Paris last year. Did a couple of weeks here and there. I almost died following gall bladder surgery. We don’t have a routine and I have cruise pounds. Who do you call? Bicycle Doctor. They make house calls to repair and restore bikes. Our antique bikes, bought in Brooklyn and maintained, will outlive us. I want us both to live a while, a wish supported by Sharon and a select few. So, let’s get it on and take off some pounds.
Senior Citizes are all over the place in Sunny Southern Florida, people staying alive, remaining active. Staying purposeful.
They get around. Know the bargains. Like to shop without dropping, especially in grocery stores. Instant kindness in the aisles and checkout. Someone carries the bag, maybe the person is older than they are, but less frail. Keeps them all busy and out of trouble.
Buses pick them up in the communities their kids have dumped them. They get spruced up, equip their walkers with fresh tennis balls and shopping bags. They don’t buy much; cannot eat what they used to. One stop shopping: drugs and food. Bus takes them home.
They love to smile and converse, especially with someone they haven’t seen before pays them a courtesy.