1. The first step in achieving what you want to in life requires you to get rid of what is standing in your way.

Never let anything stand in your way of your dreams or aspirations, unless it is that hot bronzed guy bathing in the sun on Stonewall Beach.

2. It is the summer. If you don’t take a sailboat out to sea, a float out to Flockfest, or have an ice cream cone with sprinkles on the pier, you are really missing out on life.

3. Things don’t have to last forever in life. They just have to last good. Live in the here and now that you can control, not in the past that you can’t.

4. When you lie awake at night and ask yourself, “Why me?” - it’s nothing personal. Your number just came up. Charles Schulz said that in a Charlie Brown cartoon 50 years ago. Still true today.

5. Don’t be scared of the night. It’s only in the darkness you can see the stars.

6. A single smile or laugh can light up a room like the sun. Of course, it also may mean you should run to your dentist and get that new implant yourself.

7. Your life is a blank tablet, a “tabula rasa.” You are what you take it from there. It’s in your hands. In the gay community, we are so lucky. We have so many colors and letters to choose from. Find your favorites.

8. It took guts to be gay in a straight world. You are a lot stronger than you think. Don’t let anyone talk down to you. Except maybe your mom. Everyone is entitled to her opinion.

9. The things you think are intimately most personal in truth are the things that are most universally most common. Even presidents and mayors poop, and some in Fort Lauderdale more publicly than others.

10. Leo Tolstoy was right. God is not in a book, a church, or a place. The Kingdom of God is within you. It’s you who builds a kingdom of hell or a lifetime of hope.

11. So as you get older, you hurt quicker and heal slower. Deal with it. It’s the cycle of life. It is amazing that you can have a small tumor in your brain in 2021 treated by precision radiation, but McDonald’s still can’t serve you a hot cheeseburger.

12. Holding a grudge in your soul at someone who pissed you off yesterday is like taking poison and waiting for the other guy to die. Move on, man, move on.

13. All civilization on earth came to an end when communities started shutting down miniature golf courses and cars got rid of CD players.

14. Even if you think you are on the right track, if you don’t have the courage to move one way or the other, sooner or later you are going to get run over.

15. I was thinking about my dogs again today. When you come home from work at the end of the day, do you think they are happier to see you, or are you happier to see them?

16. I have spent 50 years fighting for legal pot and served a quarter-century on the Board of Directors of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. Don’t you think every single one of these dispensaries making millions of dollars should be shipping me free weed to my home daily?

17. It is really phenomenal what Wilton Manors has done with gay life in the USA, from libraries to theaters, LGBT festivals to museums, food banks, the pride center, social service organizations, charitable and care facilities. LGBT leaders in all walks of government and professional life, and Antonio’s candy store to boot.

We should be so proud — except those of you who continue to deface our free newspaper boxes. One day I am going to catch you and spray you with tabasco sauce from Fort Lauderdale’s city sewer system. Promise.

You have a right to be proud of your contributions and your willingness to play through, conquer adversity, and rise to the occasion.

18. Eighteen is the Jewish number for life. Like Fiddler on the Roof sung years ago: “To Life, To Life, L’Chaim.”  

I will end with that number of random ruminations this week, looking forward next week to more cogitatively compromised musings of the mind of a ‘60s Jack Kerouac radical, still playing out the game in 2021.

How, I don’t know, but it sure beats the alternative. Anyway, take care, and don’t forget to support your local free community newspaper. We need you to help us be us.

So maybe pass on that carrot cake dessert at the new Kraft Deli and Bistro this week, and spend that Benjamin instead on a classified to promote your real estate office, now making big bucks in this community today because in no small part, SFGN has been showcasing gay South Florida for 10 years, for free, illuminating you, your life, your loves, and your dreams.

Thank you.