In a Facebook post the other night, I saw that my long-time friend, and one-time publisher himself, Brad Casey, wished me good health as I recover from “successful brain surgery.” 

Very kind of you, Brad. Thank you.

Now I have COVID. I am not a physician, but I don’t think you want to invite this guy into your house.

However, I want to share with you that the miraculous surgical medical procedures accomplished by The Brain Institute and Neuroscience Center at the University of Miami Medical Center represent just the beginning of many steps. I will not be playing golf at the Coral Springs Country Club anytime soon.

When your body and being are prepped for invasive surgical procedures, it is simultaneously examined for a of host-related medical matters.

These investigations have suggested there are a variety of collateral situations I still face ahead. They are not Athlete’s Foot.

From immediate ambulatory decline to potential issues of cognitive and cogitative diminution, I suspect that I will not be able to play shortstop for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series this fall.  However, they do have a batboy that I once fooled around with about 10 years ago in their clubhouse locker rooms.

With the support, staff, and team in place here at the South Florida Gay News, we will continue to print a solid newspaper and online publication that I think is the most journalistically sound and aesthetically pleasing weekly LGBT publication in the United States.

Going forward, this means empowering my Associate Publisher, Jason Parsley, to take on more of a role, which even includes giving him a minority shareholder interest in SFGN.

When Piero Guidugli  and I founded the South Florida Gay News in 2010, it was never to become a nightmarish tabloid. Our goal was to illuminate and showcase the LGBT life of South Florida and our community of friends. Boy, Piero, did that ever cost you a lot of money to get that privilege. Thank you.

Under any stewardship, one thing the South Florida Gay News can continue to do is work harder at being more transparent, and trusted — for you. We like to think we achieve this weekly, but in truth, we may have failed too often. No one is ever perfect, except maybe that blonde surfer boy I saw last week on Alhambra Drive.

Years ago, we wrote some unfavorable stories about the Pride Center, and its respected executive director and community leader, Robert Boo. We didn’t intentionally set out to hurt anyone. But nevertheless, hurt them we did. Meanwhile, other stories like the criminal enterprise that was George Castrataro eluded us.

I am ever so sorry we hurt good people and the residual pain that some of those stories have caused them and their loved ones. 

It’s on me. No one else. We missed the mark. Man, a newspaper has to smell the taint of fraud as it occurs, not after the victims are hurt. It's our duty to strive to do better individually every day, no matter what profession we are in.

The Pride Center at Equality Park remains the heart and soul of a remarkable South Florida gay community, a cherished entity we should preserve and promote, every day, every week, every month. They save lives. Our own.

A newspaper can also be the heart and soul of a community. That is what I strive for. Technology has made this a tougher task, not an easier one. The Internet enables a lie to go halfway around the world before the truth catches up with it. You are fighting “the motion of the ocean” minute by minute.

There is never an excuse for not being as good as you can be. You create the world you live in by each and every choice you make every day. If you want better outcomes, make better decisions.

Right now, knowing my passion for work and enterprise, my physicians have suggested that I focus on getting better, rather than worrying about whether your ad made the right side of the book. I can and will do that.

Whether I contracted COVID in the hospital in Miami during brain surgery last month or not, I found out about my diagnosis this past weekend during normal follow-up testing.

If you have seen or met with me in the last two weeks, just go get yourself tested as a precautionary measure. Vaccinated or not, it is still prudent.

I may not have gotten to travel cross country this summer with my best friends. It is what it is. Life happens when you are making other plans. Sometimes it knocks you down.

For gay people, we know this only too well. We have been getting knocked down our entire lifetime. Nevertheless, you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over, stronger for having defeated the enemies and viruses that tried to conquer you.

Keep a song in your hearts, a smile on your lips, and have an ice cream cone with sprinkles along the way.

See you soon.

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