A Book by Its Cover…

I used to be one of the worst about first impressions and still falter significantly. As the song goes, “Just one look”. Not only on the personal side but of different regions of the country. I think that goes back to my days as a New Yorker. Of course there was nothing worthwhile west of the Hudson. Then I moved to New Jersey.

The old joke about what exit do you live on the New Jersey Turnpike has run its course. We lived in Morris County that was dotted with well to do estates and a park system second to none. I was actually quite happy more people were unaware of its beauty.

Then we moved to Colorado. Incredibly there are over 310 days of sunshine per year. Probably more with global warming creeping up. People used to ask what we did in the summer. Ski? Don’t you miss New York? Not exactly.

We have now crisscrossed the Sunshine state. Most do it by air. We are on the road. As we went from the east to the west coast there were miles and miles of farm land. (Actually the distance as the crow flies is about 140 miles.) Acres upon acres of citrus orchards. Towns like DeSoto, Okeechobee, and Arcadia. Who ever heard of these places? And yet like all the other states with burghs and villages, there are people that call it home and it is the source of their livelihood.

Forget about geography. How many people live in Florida? What is the percentage of those that are over 65? Over 45? How many miles of coastline? You can actually come up with 16 metropolitan regions. From the elite of Palm Beach, Vero and Naples to the urban venues of Tampa, Miami and Jacksonville. Gainesville, Tallahassee and the Redneck Riviera of Destin and Panama City. A lot more than meets the eye. By the way 18.8 million human beings call this home. 15% over 65. Believe it! And the population over 45 years of age does not equal the half way mark.

Megan and I were walking down the beach and there were kids celebrating spring break replete with kegs and music. Next door was an elderly couple on the beach. He was wrapped from head to toe in towels to avoid the sun. She was sunning by his side. Kind of just enjoying each other. Somehow this patchwork quilt works.

You have got to gravitate towards judging people. It is so easy to quickly categorize into groups of this educational achievement or economic strata. You see an old black man or woman and you automatically think poor and uneducated. You see a pickup truck and presto you have a redneck. You see an old Buick and of course they are old farts going to dinner at 4:30. It’s probably the way George Zimmerman looked at Treyvon Martin. Never asked. How sad.

New York City cops believe all Muslims are evil. The 95% are sure the 5% are out to screw them. The 5% believes the 95% are lazy pariahs. So many feel they are owed…entitled. So many are entitled by birth and feel they owe nothing. Have you ever gotten to know an Hispanic, an African American, a gay or lesbian? Our paintbrushes have such a wide stripe and see so little detail.

I don’t understand the plight of Israel. Afghanis, Iranians, Indonesians, and Afrikaners. I just don’t get how people could be such brutal segregationists? How you could own slaves? How you could have an abortion? How you could take joy in watching someone be executed? Are they just really lousy at explaining themselves or am I so stupid, I don’t know how to shut up and listen?

I have lost over 15 pounds. Of course I am smug about fat people. I can write a line or two and look askance because you can’t even finish high school. I am pompous about being a moderate. I have money and you are struggling to just get by. I wonder who is really ignorant here?

I just hope you don’t judge this book by its cover. I have got a lot to tell. I think I will rework the jacket. Maybe a new picture. I’ll do the same for you. Then with a little luck we won’t be put in the “Bargain Bin” at Barnes and Noble…. just yet.

As always

Ted the Great

Factoids:

Florida:

1200 miles of coastline. Over 11,000 miles of rivers and canals.

The Everglades is made up of over 10,000 islands. The area has been inhabited for over 15,000 years. In the 1800’s John Audubon noted the sky would sometimes grow black with birds. 93% of the wading bird population has vanished.

Population 18.8 million. Over 65.. 3.2 million roughly 15%. 45-64…5.079 million roughly 27%. 25-44 ….4.7 million roughly 25%

At 38,000 square miles the state is roughly the size of England and Wales combined.

There are over 1000 golf courses in Florida

 

 

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