Personally speaking, reflecting on the passing of Pooch and Norm has unintentionally woven as sad tapestry for me in light of my long-term memories of these bigger-than-life guys.
I actually met Pooch when he and his two other friends landed in South Florida so many years ago. I learned his real name from one of his friends but promised not to reveal it, which I never did. Now, that fading memory has wiped away my recollecting his family name, but not the many years of our early and lingering friendship.
I've known Norm for so many years and will never forget when he asked me to do a column for him but, from a conservative angle, especially since I was involved with Log Cabin Republicans locally and nationally. I was taken back because I knew our politics were not strategically compatible and all I could think is that, opposites must attract. I told him it would cause a real stir as it did when I wrote for David Magazine. I remember when Mark Reiley and Hank Goddard had to eventually terminate my David Magazine column. They warned me that from their experience and community-political input that those who opposed my politics would endeavor to assure that I would never be able to write in another community publication again. I told them I expected that and reminded them of my earlier warnings to them when I was originally approached.
As the time flew by along came Norman Kent, seemingly an historical repeat for me of the David Magazine experience. I warned Norm of what could happen, but he told me it was his decision. Frankly Speaking lasted for a time but eventually it reached its political guillotine. Norm once said to me that my column raised a lot of heat, but it did bring attention to the publication which may have been part of his PR intent and an incentive to stimulate or, as some would put it, incite the readership to react and respond germinating an increasing circulation.
I am sad to see these old acquaintances pass on and I pray that they are resting in the peace they deserve. I have a lot of memories relative to both men and I am so thankful that they were a part of my life both in some of the fun times and times that were rocky especially when I was not being embraced by others. Obviously, there were opponents who were offended by my politics and, at times, even my expressed religious beliefs.
With fond and beautiful memories, Norm and Pooch will always be a cherished part of my life here in South Florida, or as good ole “Bike Daddy” sometimes said, Fort “Liquordale.”
- Andy (A-Jay Eddy)